The Competition Commission has ruled that a channel distribution agreement between the SABC and MultiChoice signed in 2013 constitutes a notifiable merger.
The Competition Commission wants the public broadcaster and Africa’s largest pay-TV operator to register the transaction as a merger, failing which they will be in violation of competition laws.
Speaking to Xolani Gwala, Head of Communications at Competition Commission Sipho Ngwema says this finding was unexpected.
You must remember when this matter was filed to the competition tribunal right in the beginning, we were bypassed by the parties which reported the matter to the tribunal.— Sipho Ngwema, Head of Communications at Competition Commission
Fortunately, it came back to us to say we must investigate it, but we were not allowed to probe it with our investigative powers and that is why it then went to the competition appeal court in Cape Town and from Cape Town it then went to the ConCourt.— Sipho Ngwema, Head of Communications at Competition Commission
Director at Media Monitoring Africa William Bird also weighed in saying the finding is very important and it comes on the back of the ConCourt ruling around the powers of the Competition Commission.
So when you get to this decision, they found that it was a notifiable merger around the basis of the issues around control of the SABC 's policy decision.— William Bird, Director at Media Monitoring Africa
Listen below to the full interview: