Nqobile Dludla | JOHANNESBURG
South Africa’s Naspers’ pay-television subsidiary has agreed to pay an accumulative fine of 180 million rand ($13.97 million) for price fixing, the competition commission said on Thursday.
“DStv Media Sales (Pty) Ltd has admitted to price fixing and the fixing of trading conditions in contravention of South Africa’s Competition Act,” the commission said in a statement.
DStv, a digital satellite service, is owned by MultiChoice, which is a unit of Naspers, the biggest listed firm on the continent.
The matter relates to a November 2011 investigation, which found that through the Media Credit Co-Ordinators (MCC), various media companies agreed to offer similar discounts and payment terms to advertising agencies that place advertisements with MCC members.
“The Commission found that the practices restricted competition among the competing companies as they did not independently determine an element of a price in the form of discount or trading terms,” the commission said.
As part of the consent agreement filed with the Competition Tribunal, which makes the final ruling, DStv Media Sales will pay an administrative penalty of over 22 million rand and pay 8 million rand to the Economic Development Fund over three years.
DStv Media Sales will also provide 25 percent in bonus airtime for every rand of airtime bought by qualifying small agencies for three years, the commission said.
MultiChoice and Naspers could not immediately be reached for comment.
($1 = 12.8846 rand)
(Reporting by Nqobile Dludla; editing by Susan Thomas)
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