Towards the end of last month, a report by Analysys Mason, a firm that was hired by the Communications Authority of Kenya to look at the country’s telecommunication and broadcasting industry on market dominance and anti-competitive conduct, was released, recommending that M-Pesa should be split from Safaricom to keep up a competitive environment.
“The two businesses (M-Pesa and Safaricom) would be required to operate in separate offices, with separate staff below board level, separate branding, separate accounting and separate business operations and support system, customer support systems and management information systems,” the report said.
“As the government, we do not support regulation that splits companies based on innovation. To say that any company that innovates something – they are likely to be penalised by law – I believe, is unfair.” said Joe Mucheru, Cabinet Secretary, ICT.
The ICT cabinet secretary noted that government disapproves of measures that would stifle innovation as it wants companies to expand by investing in new products and technology. The country has existing laws that can be used to stimulate competition without having to introduce new regulations.
“It would be a shame if we now started punishing innovation by just legislating without taking into account our future and where we want to go in a more globalised market. I believe that is a decision that a board and company can take. It does not have to be taken through regulation.” Joe Mucheru added.