Kenya: Mobile-money transfer wars heat up

As Airtel Networks looks to compete in Kenya’s mobile-money transfer industry, reports say the company has requested that antitrust officials probe market leader Safaricom over allegations the company is abusing its dominant position.

Airtel is set to enter the mobile-money transfer industry next month through a joint venture with top lender Equity Bank. The operations will be in direct competition with Safricom’s M-Pesa services.

According to the Communications Authority of Kenya, Safaricom holds 78 percent of the voice market and 96 percent of the text messaging market. Airtel, which is the nation’s second-largest wireless operator, holds just 11 percent of voice and 3 percent of text messaging.

The gap in market control between the two companies “makes it impossible for Kenyans t make a choice,” Airtel said in a statement.

Full content: Businessweek

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