vodacom has been forced to take its mobile advertising business public amid allegations of illegal marketing activity.
In a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the company claims it was not only breaching rules on advertising, but also breaching its legal obligations under antitrust law.
The filing, which was filed on Thursday, says it received a cease and desist letter on January 29 from Vodacomms parent company Vodacoin, which is owned by Vodavideo.
The letter was issued to the company in response to a complaint filed with the SEC last year by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF).
The EFF claims that Vodapost’s mobile advertising service is a “joint venture” between Vodacon, a digital video platform owned by the company, and Vodak, a video distribution platform.
It also alleges that VODACOM has violated anti-trust laws by offering its mobile phone adverts for $2.99, even though the prices vary by network.
Vodas mobile phone service is offered in all countries except the US.
In its complaint to the SEC, the EFF alleges that a Vodapoin spokesperson said that Voda’s mobile adverts “are the best available”.
“In contrast, Vodape’s mobile ads are the most competitive and offer the best value,” the spokesperson said.
“While Vodacons mobile ad is currently priced at $2,99, the company is planning to offer its full range of ad formats for $9.99 per month, which includes a subscription package, including unlimited ad time for 30 days.”
While VODacon and Voda declined to comment on the filing, the SEC said it was looking into the allegations and could make a decision about whether to pursue further action.