28 media companies in the dock for cartel conduct

The Competition Commission has referred 28 media companies, including the Mail and Guardian, to the Competition Tribunal for prosecution on charges of price fixing and fixing of trading conditions.

Caxton, Independent Newspapers and Dstv have already pleaded guilty to the charges and agreed to pay an administrative penalty totalling more than R30-million.

The investigation started in 2011 and found that media companies, using the Media Credit Coordinators, offered similar discounts and payment terms to advertising agencies. This in effect squeezed out smaller advertising agencies.

The commission also found that the implicated companies used an intermediary in Corexalance (Corex) to perform risk assessments on advertising agencies in order to impose a settlement discount structure and terms.

This, the commission contends, essentially fixed the price and trading terms, in effect restricting competition.

As part of the reparation agreed to with the three companies who plead guilty, the media companies will contribute to the Economic Development Fund which aims to develop small black owned media and advertising agencies. It also seeks to offer bursaries to black students wishing to study media or advertising.

Other media houses and advertising agencies implicated in the case include Media 24, Primedia, Avusa, SABC, Condé Nast, United Stations and Trudon.

“This is one of the legacy media practises that survived the introduction of the Competition Act in South Africa. It is a problem because it consolidates operations of a few media houses that gang up against mainly small advertising agencies,” said Competition Commissioner Tembinkosi Bonakele.

READ MORE: Independent Media and Caxton fined millions by Competition Commission

Read the Competition Commission’s full press statement below:

Beauregard Tromp
Guest Author

Stranded commuters say Ramaphosa’s rail promises ring hollow

Cape Town’s largest passenger rail line has been closed for months, hitting people’s pockets and adding to road traffic congestion

EFF ‘circus’ becomes contagion as MPs heckle Malema

ANC MPs test the EFF’s disruptive tactics on the leader of the Red Berets in Sona reply

Ramaphosa ‘neutral’ in Mkhwebane, Parliament impeachment row

However, the president says even if he has a conflict of interest, another Cabinet member could suspend the public protector

Strike-off case pulls in judge

Judge Mushtak Parker is implicated in an application to strike off his former partners. He is also involved in the fight between the Western Cape high court’s judge president and his deputy

Press Releases

Response to the report of the independent assessors

VUT welcomes the publishing of the report of the independent assessors to investigate concerns of poor governance, leadership, management, corruption and fraud at the university.

NWU student receives international award

Carol-Mari Schulz received the Bachelor of Health Sciences in Occupational Hygiene Top Achiever Award.

Academic programme resumes at all campuses

Lectures, practicals, seminars and tutorials will all resume today as per specific academic timetables.

Strategic social investments are a catalyst for social progress

Barloworld Mbewu enables beneficiaries to move away from dependence on grant funding

We all have a part to play to make South Africa work

Powering societal progress demands partnerships between all stakeholders

So you want to be a social entrepreneur?

Do the research first; it will save money and time later

Social entrepreneurship means business

Enterprises with a cause at their core might be exactly what our economy desperately needs

Looking inwards

Businesses are finding tangible ways to give back – but only because consumers demand it