The Competition Tribunal finalised two cases by approving, according to the roll of 25 April. It approved the merger involving Patrice Motsepe’s African Rainbow Capital Fund and Fledge Capital and also confirmed a settlement between the Competition Commission versus MTV Networks Africa, RMB Ventures Seven and Gemelli.
Here follows a statement issued by the Competition Commission on these cases:
African Rainbow Capital Fund transaction involving Fledge Capital approved by Tribunal
The merger involving the African Rainbow Capital Fund and Fledge Capital has been approved by the Competition Tribunal with conditions.
The ARC fund is an investment entity that forms part of the ARC Group – a South African investment group of which the ultimate controller is Ubuntu-Ubuntu Commercial Enterprises. Ubuntu-Ubuntu is owned by various trusts belonging to Patrice Motsepe and his immediate family.
The conditions agreed upon address the exchange of sensitive information concerns that arose between entities active in the bond origination and short term insurance product markets. The merging parties agreed that the representative of Fledge Capital on the board of BetterLife Group Limited will be chosen by the founding shareholders of Fledge Capital and not by the ARC Group. Further, the ARC Group will not exercise any influence over the founding shareholders when they appoint this representative.
No person may serve or be appointed to the board of Betterlife if they serve/are appointed to the boards of Indwe Broker Holdings, Ooba and/or Alexander Forbes.
MTV pays R17,3m in remedy package for fixing trading conditions
The Competition Tribunal has approved a consent agreement in which MTV Networks Africa (MTV) has agreed to a package of remedies for price fixing and fixing of trading conditions amounting to R17,3m (R17 314 702.25)
MTV, one of the 30 media companies listed in a complaint filed with the Tribunal for price fixing and fixing of trading conditions, has admitted to contravening section 4(1)(b)(i) of the Competition Act. The Tribunal has confirmed an administrative penalty of R966 692.83.
In terms of the settlement agreement MTV undertakes to provide 25% bonus airtime and/or advertising space for every Rand of advertising space utilised at times scheduled at the discretion of MTV. MTV, when exercising this discretion, is required to take into account the airtime or advertising space purchased. MTV will offer these terms for a period of three years from the date of confirmation of this consent agreement, subject to a total annual cap of R16 000 000. MTV will also contribute R348 009.42 to the Economic Development Fund over a period of three years from the date of confirmation of the consent agreement.
The matter relates to an investigation that was initiated in 2011 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. MCC accredited agencies were offered a 16.5% discount, while non-members were offered 15% discount on payments made within 45 days of the date of the statement.
The respondents also agreed to charge a 50% cancellation fee in respect of all adverts that advertising agencies withdrew 24 hours before publication.
The media companies listed in the complaint are: the SABC (SOC) Limited; Media 24 Ltd; Primedia (Pty) Ltd; the Mail & Guardian (Pty) Ltd; Avusa Media Limited; MTV Networks Africa (Pty) Ltd; Media 24 Magazines; Primedia Outdoor (Pty) Ltd; Cinemark (Pty) Ltd; Comutanet (Pty) Ltd; Conde Nast Independent Magazine; The Citizens 1978 (Pty) Ltd; Spark Media (Pty) Ltd; Apurimac Media; Provantage Media (Pty) Ltd; Radmark (Pty) Ltd; Carpe Diem Media; Rodale And Touchline; Mandla-Matla Publishing (Pty) Ltd; Ramsay Media; Lugan Investments (Pty) Ltd; Associated Media (Pty) Ltd; Associated Hearst (Pty) Ltd; Capro (Pty) Ltd; Trudon (Pty) Ltd; United Stations (Pty) Ltd; Continental Outdoor (Pty) Ltd; Media Credit Coordinators; Independent Newspapers (Pty) Ltd; DSTV Media Sales (Pty) Ltd; Apurimac Media CC; Caxton and CTP Publishers and Printers Ltd and Media Credit Co-Ordinators (MCC).
Previous consent agreements in this matter:
In terms of the administrative penalty:
Independent Media to pay R2,2m, (R2 220 603)
Caxton R5,8m (R5 806 890)
DSTV Media Sales R22,3m (R22 262 599)
Provantage R1m (1 094 222)
Their bonus airtime is subject to an annual cap of:
Independent – R5m
Caxton – R15m
DSTV – R50m
Provantage – R2,8m
Economic Development Fund contributions:
Independent – R799 417
Caxton – R2m
DSTV – R8m
Provantage – R393 920