writer : SHIRI LATA
Vodafone Fiji Limited says a raid on its Tamavua headquarters by officers of the Fiji Commerce Commission will force it to rethink sponsorship of future events.
The company’s premises was raided yesterday morning by officers searching for documents relating to the FASANOC Sports Personalities of the Year award.
The Commerce Commission had apparently issued a directive to FASANOC and Vodafone to open up the SMS voting to other mobile network customers. FASANOC and Vodafone made written submission to the Commerce Commission disagreeing with their directive. This was given that Vodafone was the major sponsor of the event and had certain rights and privileges as the major sponsor.
A statement from Vodafone Fiji says “While we are not at liberty to make any comments because this matter may end up in court, what we submitted to the Commission was that Vodafone was the major sponsor of the awards and accordingly had certain rights and privileges to the event.
“One such right which is consistent with the way sponsorships work around the globe is that competing sponsors shall not be allowed to be associated with the event.
“The position taken by FASANOC and Vodafone is consistent with sponsorships at international level.
“As an example, Coca-Cola was a sponsor of the Soccer World Cup 2010 and therefore Pepsi was not allowed to be associated with the event, similarly Kia Motors was a also a sponsor; accordingly no other automobile company was associated with the event.
“Vodafone agreed to sponsor the event and open up its SMS platform only on the condition that sponsorship rights and privileges normally accorded to sponsors were also given to Vodafone.
“However, with such heavy-handed approach by authorities Vodafone now have second thoughts about sponsoring such events or for that matter assisting other sporting bodies such as FASANOC in future.
“If our genuine efforts to support sporting bodies such as FASANOC through sponsorships mean a raid by the Commerce Commission we would rather stay away from such sponsorships in future.
“This action by the Commerce Commission may be interfering with sponsors’ rights and privileges and could have serious implications for securing sponsors by many sporting bodies and event organisers who rely solely on sponsorships to survive.”
Commerce Commission chairman, Dr Mahendra Reddy said, “Vodafone knew that we were investigating this for two weeks and if they would have obliged there would have been no problem.”
When asked why the Commission took this harsh tactic to get what they could have requested from Vodafone, Dr Reddy said, “We don’t do that if an organisation is refusing to participate. What guarantee is there that they will give the required information and this would be alerting them too.”
Dr Reddy said they wanted to be fair to everybody because this was a national award.
“We are talking about national sports personality and through Vodafone and Inkk we are able to reach 80 per cent of the people only and 20 per cent are left out,” he said.
In a letter dated February 17, the Commission had written to Vodafone Fiji chief executive officer saying “The Commission has received a complaint against Vodafone Fiji for restrictive trade practices concerning the 2010 Sports Personality of the Year Award by restricting the text voting within Vodafone and INKK subscribers only.
“The Commission understands that it is a national competition and therefore Vodafone is not entitled to exclude members of the public using Digicel network to enter the competition.”
March 02, 2011
Vodafone raided by Commerce Commission
We don't know what Dr. Mahendry Reddy is
smoking thinking, but by raiding Vodafone as has been reported by Fiji Sun, his term within the hallowed halls of bureaucracy is inevitably going to be short-lived.
Obviously he is clueless about the linkages of the illegal and treasonous military regime to both Vodafone (Aslam Khan the Vodafone chief is husband of the regime's favourite "(il)legal trainer cum consultant"; former judge and BFF of Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum, Nazhat Shameem) and the FASANOC/Fiji Sports Council union is supposed to be co-jointly hosting the awards together.
The Sports Council is apparently now
nepotistically headed by Bainimarama's daughter, Litiana Bainimarama-Bereso.