Competition Commission South Africa has put the names of 28 media companies before the Competition Tribunal for prosecution on charges of price fixing and the fixing of trading conditions.
This follows an investigation that found media companies agreed to offer discounts to advertising companies that placed advertisements with members of the Media Credit Coordinators (MCC).
Advertising agencies that were accredited by MCC received a 16.5 percent discount while those that weren’t were only offered a 15 percent discount.
“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,” Competition Commissioner Tembinkosi Bonakele said in a statement.
The Competition Commission has requested that the Competition Tribunal prosecute the media companies on the grounds that they contravened the Competition Act. The full list of media companies follows below.
- Media 24
- Mail & Guardian
- Avusa Media
- MTV Networks Africa
- Media 24 Magazines
- Primedia Outdoor
- Conde Nast Independent Magazine
- The Citizens
- Spark Media
- Apurimac Media
- Provantage Media
- Carpe Diem Media
- Rodale and Touchline
- Mandla-Matla Publishing
- Ramsay Media
- Lugan Investments
- Associated Media
- Associated Hearst
- United Stations
- Continetal Outdoor
- Media Credit Coordinators
Should the Competition Tribunal find these media houses guilty of contravening the Competition Act, they will have to pay penalties.
Three media houses have already admitted to the charges and now face penalties in the millions. Caxton & CTP Publishers and Printers Limited have agreed to pay R5 806 890.14, Independent Media has agreed to pay R2 220 603 and DStv Media Sales has agreed to pay R22 262 599.
“It is encouraging that some media houses have settled the matter
and will also be directly contributing towards promoting the entry of small and black advertising agencies,” Bonakele concluded.