If you ever wondered about the true reasons for the high cost of telecommunications services in South Africa, elucidation is at hand. An article by Ann Crotty in last week’s Business Report explains how government’s sale of a 30 percent stake in Telkom to the Thintana Communications (the consortium of SBC and Telekom Malaysia) placed both companies above South Africa’s laws.

As a result SBC effectively drafted our new Telecommunications Act and this cozy deal helped finance SBC’s recent acquisition of rival AT&T. Read all about it here. The story draws heavily on an article published in the subscription-only US academic journal, Telecommunications Policy.