Kenya’s Safaricom taken Airtel to court and convinced High Court judge Francis Gikonyo to order Airtel to temporarily stop any advert or print adverts bearing Safaricom’s M-Pesa sign until when the case is determined.
This is because of Airtel’s move to display M-Pesa logo on its advertorial to market Airtel Money Service.
Safaricom takes close to 70 per cent share of mobile money market with over 17 million subscribers and its rival commanding three million subscription, which translates to slightly 15 per cent market share.
“The defendant’s action is intended to enable it to ride on the goodwill and extensive market of the plaintiff’s M-Pesa mobile transfer services, which has recorded a considerable growth and market command,” Safaricom said.
Daniel Ndaba,Safaricom litigation officer says Airtel had been notified about the adverts, but no action was taken four days after the notification. The legal officer told the court that Airtel wrote back saying that it was not aware of the matter and promised to rectify the situation.
The temporary restraining orders by the judge will be extended until the case is determined. The two will, however, negotiate about the issue and will come back to court for a mention on July 15.