Less than two weeks after advertising authorities ruled in MTN’s favour, Vodacom has won the latest round in the battle between SA’s two biggest mobile operators. A Business Day report says MTN’s court bid to have Transnet’s R325m deal with Vodacom set aside was dismissed yesterday, three days after the Gauteng High Court (Johannesburg) heard the matter.

MTN had said in its court papers that it wanted Transnet’s contract with Vodacom – signed in February and involving the provision of mobile voice and data services – to be set aside as the tender process had been ‘marred with irregularities’.

MTN has thus far refused to port Transnet numbers to Vodacom on the premise that both the first and second iterations of the tender process were irregular and skewed in its rival’s favour. Its refusal to hand over the services is despite a ruling in April by Icasa that it must do so.

Vodacom had said in its court papers that it was losing ‘hundreds of thousands of rands in revenues per day’ as a result of MTN’s non-compliance. The report says it was unclear yesterday whether MTN would contest the ruling or accept it and hand the services over to its larger rival in the South African market. MTN was ‘studying the judgment’, a spokesperson for the company reportedly told Business Day.

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