South Africa's competition watchdog has launched an investigation into the high cost of internet data, the regulator said on Friday, after a groundswell of complaints from consumers and civil society. The Competition Commission said in a statement it had already published terms of reference for the inquiry and that it would complete its investigation by August next year. The regulator said it believed there were features in the market that "prevent, distort or restrict competition", leading to excessive prices. A 2016 World Bank report found that South Africans paid around $14.10 (about R186) for one gigabyte of data, the fourth- highest out of 17 African countries, compared to lowest-rated Cameroon, where the same data costs around $2.10 (about R28). In September last year, a local radio personality presented a case for lower data prices to a parliamentary committee after a popular online campaign dubbed #datamustfall. "The inquiry has been initiated in response to a request by Eco...

BL Premium

This article is reserved for our subscribers.

A subscription helps you enjoy the best of our business content every day along with benefits such as articles from our international business news partners; ProfileData financial data; and digital access to the Sunday Times and Sunday Times Daily.

Already subscribed? Simply sign in below.

Questions or problems? Email or call 0860 52 52 00. Got a subscription voucher? Redeem it now