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Telecel Zim dragged to court over promo

By , Journalist
Zimbabwe , 02 Nov 2012

Telecel Zim dragged to court over promo

Experts in Zimbabwe say the country’s competition commission should investigate mobile network firms for ‘bullying’, after a local company has sued Telecel Zimbabwe for alleged copyright infringement.

Trumbelt Computers, a Zimbabwean company specialising in value-added mobile telecommunication services, is suing Telecel for $340 million in the nation’s high court. Trumbelt is contesting that Telecel implemented a promotion that it conceptualised without its knowledge.

This is despite the fact that, according to court papers filed by Trumbelt Computers, the two parties agreed to partner in a promotion venture aimed at winning over subscribers.

Dubbed the “mega promo”, the promotion is based on subscribers winning prizes for answering quiz questions correctly. But Trumbelt, which trades as Mobile Connexion, is seeking the court’s authority to bar Telecel from continuing with the promotion.

Morris Chahwanda, a local ICT expert and consultant for telecommunications companies, says the the incident should prompt the Competition and Tariff Commission (CTC) competition commission to investigate this matter, as it is becoming a disturbingly common trend in the country.

“This is a case before the court, but we have heard of so many complaints, even from network users for some of the companies. The competition commission should launch investigations into unfair and restrictive practices,” he said.

Telecel, though, has hit back at Trumbelt Computers, saying the concept for the promotion is a generic concept used by several telecoms companies across the world.

The Zimbabwean telco alleges there was never an agreement for a partnership either, saying the discussions held by the two firms were exploratory.

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