The Competition Commission’s market inquiry into data services is expected to publish a report with interim findings and potential recommendations next year, Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel said on Friday.

Comments on the interim report would be invited before the recommendations were finalised.

In a written reply to a parliamentary question by EFF MP Moses Mbatha, Patel said the final outcome of the commission’s work would be to recommend to the government how the market could be made more competitive and inclusive; and how data prices could be brought down to secure SA’s position as a low-data-cost economy.

It would also make recommendations to the sector regulator on the competitive impact of the regulatory framework, and any need to amend it.

In September the commission called for submissions by November 1 and Patel said it was assessing the responses. Further discussions with key stakeholders were planned.

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