Alleged quoting in foreign currency by Airtel Malawi Limited

The Commission ordered Airtel Malawi Limited to cease and desist from engaging in unconscionable conduct and quoting prices in foreign currency until they acquire authorisation from the Minister. This followed an investigation by the Commission which established that Airtel Malawi Limited was quoting the price of their broadband services and VPN services in foreign currency without approval from the Minister responsible for authorization to quote in foreign currency in line with the Exchange Control Act, CAP 45:01 of the Laws of Malawi.

The Commission determined that this conduct was a contravention of section (1) (g) of the CFTA which prohibits traders from engaging in unconscionable conduct. Further, the Commission assessed that the conduct was a violation of section 37 (1) of the Consumer Protection Act which makes it mandatory for suppliers or traders of technology, goods or services to indicate clearly in local currency and exhibit to the public the price of any technology, goods and services, unless an express exemption applies under any written law. The Commission also found that the Minister of Finance on 28th February, 2018, issued a public Notice ordering enterprises to stop the practice of quoting in US$ without prior approval.