Picture: ISTOCK
Picture: ISTOCK

Shares in Vodacom and MTN plunged on Wednesday afternoon after the Competition Commission said the mobile network operators were charging higher prices in their home country than they do in other nations and recommended immediate relief on data pricing.

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Vodacom’s shares fell nearly 4% to trade at  R116.40 at 2.49pm,  while MTN was  down 2.9% at R101.68. 

“International benchmarking confirmed that SA data prices are high, particularly for mobile pre-paid data,” commissioner Tembinkosi Bonakele said in an e-mailed statement on Wednesday.

The retail pricing structure of mobile data isn’t transparent enough and a lack of spectrum is helping to drive up costs, he said, adding that SA prices compare poorly to other SADC countries.