Investigate MultiChoice, SABC - Icasa | Fin24
 
Loading...

Investigate MultiChoice, SABC - Icasa

Apr 09 2014 15:51
Sapa

Johannesburg - The Independent Communications Authority of SA (Icasa) has requested that an investigation be done into an agreement between Multichoice and the SA Broadcasting Corporation (SABC), the regulator said on Wednesday.

Icasa requested the Competition Commission to investigate a possible "restrictive horizontal practice" between the SABC and MultiChoice, spokesperson Paseka Maleka said in a statement.

The request was sent to the commission on Friday.

"This follows an agreement entered into between the two parties in July 2013 whereby the SABC would have to provide a 24-hour news channel on MultiChoice's DSTV platform."

Collusion, competitor agreements

Restrictive horizontal practices involved collusion and certain competitor agreements and practices, while restrictive vertical practices involved certain customer or supplier arrangements.

Maleka said the agreement also contained an obligation relating to set-top-box control in which the SABC allegedly agreed that it would transmit its free-to-air channels without encryption.

He said there was an on-going dispute between e.tv and Multichoice on whether free-to-air television services should use set-top-box control.

"The question arises as to whether the agreement between the SABC and MultiChoice, as it affects the issue of set-top-box control, may constitute a form of restrictive horizontal practice in the television market".

No documents

Maleka said the regulator asked both broadcasters to provide a copy of the agreement but both parties failed to supply the document.

This made it difficult for the regulator to verify a claim put forward by MultiChoice.

Maleka said Multichoice claimed that: "Any contractual obligation upon the SABC to continue to transmit its free-to-air channels in the clear (without encryption) is an incident of the distribution arrangements agreed upon by the SABC and MultiChoice.

"Such obligation, as indicated, forms part of an agreement between parties in a vertical relationship and is not, as alleged, a horizontal restrictive practice."

* Fin24 is part of Media24, a subsidiary of Naspers, who owns MultiChoice.

icasa  |  multichoice  |  competition commission  |  sabc  |  ict
NEXT ON FIN24X

 
 
 

Read Fin24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
6 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.
 

Company Snapshot

Money Clinic

Money Clinic
Do you have a question about your finances? We'll get an expert opinion.
Click here...

Voting Booth

Do small independent businesses stand a chance against big corporates in SA?

Previous results · Suggest a vote

Loading...