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MTN Nigeria Fine Increased To $3.9 Billion After Regulator Error

 

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MTN Group Ltd. had its record fine in Nigeria increased $500 million to $3.9 billion after the country’s telecommunications regulator said it wrote the incorrect penalty in an earlier letter to Africa’s largest phone company.

“There was a typo,” Nigerian Communication Commission spokesman Tony Ojobo said by phone on Friday, referring to a letter dated Dec. 2 that reduced the original $5.2 billion penalty to $3.4 billion.

“The reduction should have been 25 percent. We saw the mistake and had to fix it.”

MTN spokesman Chris Maroleng declined to comment. The shares traded 4.7 percent lower at 133.40 rand as of 10:39 a.m. in Johannesburg, the lowest since Nov. 17.

MTN received a second letter on Thursday which superseded the first letter and increased the fine to $3.9 billion, the Johannesburg-based company said in a statement on Friday. The payment date is Dec. 31.

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