By Ismaheel Ojo
Â Â MTN on Monday said that it has as confirmed that it has filed appropriate processes before the court for necessary determination of summons it received based on a lawsuit
filed by Emerging Markets Telecommunications Services Limited (Etisalat Nigeria) over the acquisition of Visafone.
According to MTN executive, Amina Oyagbola, â€œEtisalat has filed a lawsuit against MTN and Visafone, and we have filed appropriate processes before the court for necessary determination. The acquisition of Visafone was concluded after obtaining all necessary statutory and regulatory approvals. I am not able to comment further as the matter is sub judice.â€
Oyagbola added that the acquisition allows Visafone and MTN to leverage resources for service enhancement whilst also deepening the growth and roll-out of broadband services across the country in support of the National Broadband Plan for the benefit of Nigerians.
She also made reference to media reports credited to regulatory authorities that the acquisition would help sustain the continuity of CDMA services in Nigeria in addition to being beneficial to operators and subscribers.
It will be recalled that this is not the first time Etisalat is suing MTN. In July, 2015 the company filed a suit against the NCC and MTN, at the Federal High Court, Lagos, seeking a number of orders including an Order of Mandamus to compel NCC to direct MTN to withdraw its 11kobo per second tariff plan, amongst others.
This was the same tariff plan widely advertised and being charged by other networks including Etisalat and approved by the NCC.
MTN filed a Preliminary Objection challenging the suit, and on December 2nd 2015, Etisalatâ€™s action was dismissed by the court with costs awarded in favour of NCC and MTN.
Commenting on Etisalat action,Â Â the President, Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria, (ATCON), Engr. Lanre Ajay said, “I don’t think it will be appropriate to limit the growth of any company by disallowing them from making acquisition.
“To me, that will be punishing success. However it is important that we ensure that big companies which are dominant companies are not allowed to abuse their dominant positions which can be done through several regulatory measures.”