As rumours continue to circulate of the possibility of MTN Nigeria acquiring 9mobile, the National Association of Telecoms Subscribers (NATCOMS) believes this shouldn’t happen.
To this end, NATCOMS is calling on the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to stop MTN from acquiring Emerging Markets Telecommunications Service Limited (9Mobile).
This is coming after reports that MTN Nigeria was in talks with 9Mobile for a spectrum acquisition, which could lead to MTN taking over 9Mobile.
Deolu Ogunbanjo, president, NATCOMS, however, stated that since MTN already controls nearly 50 per cent of Nigeria’s telecom market, there is no reason to support the telco’s proposed acquisition of 9mobile.
Interestingly, reports indicate MTN Nigeria’s strategic acquisition of 9Mobile is at an advanced stage.
But why would 9Mobile offer to sell its spectrum? In 2017, following the departure of its primary technical partner and investors, Mubadala of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), 9mobile faced financial difficulties, deciding to sell its spectrum.
For context, 9Mobile reportedly defaulted on a loan repayment scheme of $1.2 billion. It cited an economic downturn and a drop in naira valuation as the reasons for its inability to pay back.
Well, this isn’t the first time MTN attempted to acquire 9Mobile. In 2017, MTN tried doing so.