(Adds details, background)
By Duncan Miriri
NAIROBI, March 14 Kenya's telecoms regulator
said on Tuesday it had no plans to break up any company in the
sector, weeks after a leaked draft report on competition it
commissioned recommended that Safaricom, the country's
biggest operator, be split.
"It is not the authority's intention to punish success,"
Communications Authority of Kenya chairman Ben Gituku told a
Gituku said they were discussing the report with telecoms
operators and asked the public to ignore the recent reports in
local newspapers that the draft findings recommended that
Safaricom's mobile money payment M-Pesa be separated from its
Safaricom's telecoms business.
He said the report on competition was being finalised and it
would be released in May.
The authority's comments cement the government's position,
given earlier this month, when the information minister said he
was opposed to a move by a legislator to amend the law to break
Safaricom is also Kenya's biggest firm by market
capitalisation and dwarfs the two other operators in the mobile
market: the local subsidiary of India's Bharti Airtel
and Orange, which the French telecoms company agreed
last year to sell to London-based Helios Partners.
The smaller operators have long argued that Safaricom enjoys
a dominant position because it accounts for 90 percent of
revenues in areas such as voice calls and text messages.
Safaricom rejects the accusations of dominance.
(Reporting by Duncan Miriri; Writing by George Obulutsa;
Editing by Louise Heavens)