MTN Ghana indicated it would continue to seek a judicial review into a decision by the country’s regulator to declare it a significant market power (SMP) despite an appeal to the high court being thrown out last week, Ghana News Agency (GNA) reported.

In a statement published by GNA, MTN Ghana corporate services executive Samuel Koranteng said the company planned to move its case onto the country’s Supreme Court in a bid to gain “certainty” on the issue after losing the latest legal battle.

The row surrounds a decision by the National Communications Authority in June to label MTN an SMP, a definition likely to lead to government action to curb its position and increase competition.

In its initial decision the regulator said its statistics on the mobile market showed a “worrying trend…which demands immediate action to correct the growing market imbalance and creation of a near monopoly in the telecoms sector”.

It added the market’s status exposed the country to “the dictates of the dominant operator, militates against effective competition and impacts negatively upon investment in the sector”.

Under the country’s communications laws, an operator controlling more than 40 per cent of the sector is deemed an SMP. The Commission’s Q1 figures placed MTN’s share of the voice market at 57 per cent, with its data holding at almost 68 per cent.

Among the measures proposed to widen competition, the regulator suggested imposing minimum and maximum pricing, and a national roaming scheme.

In its Q2 results statement, MTN Group said its Ghana unit was a “responsible market player in a highly competitive market and does not engage in anti-competitive behaviour” adding it would call for a judicial review to ensure “the requirements of procedural fairness are observed and that the applicable legislation and global industry best practices are followed”.