NLNG Corporate Caring banner First bank SME Connect Fidelity bank card banner Emerald Energy Institute Camano banner

SABC, Multichoice deal ruled a merger

By News Express on 12/11/2018

Gmail icon

Views: 670

• SABC office in Auckland Park, Johannesburg.
• SABC office in Auckland Park, Johannesburg.

The Competition Commission has ruled that a channel distribution agreement between the SABC and MultiChoice signed in 2013 constitutes a notifiable merger.

It 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. The five-year agreement worth R500m, gave MultiChoice the right to broadcast SABC’s 24-hour news channel and an entertainment channel, SABC Encore.

In 2015 it emerged that as part of the deal the SABC undertook to back MultiChoice’s position on digital migration, which was that set-top boxes to convert the digital signal to analogue after migration would not be encrypted. Then SABC COO Hlaudi Motsoneng got an R11m “bonus” for negotiating the contract. 

The ruling by the commission has taken both MultiChoice and the SABC by surprise as it contradicted two previous rulings by the Competition Tribunal and the Competition Appeals Court that the agreement was not a merger. MultiChoice has indicated it will appeal.

The unexpected turn of events comes after a ruling by the Constitutional Court in October in a case brought by Caxton and lobby group Save our SABC (SOS) to appeal against the Competitions Appeal Court decision.  Caxton and SOS argued that the agreement was a notifiable merger and that MultiChoice and the SABC had contravened the Competition Act by not notifying the commission.

In 2016 the Competition Appeals Court gave the go-ahead for a limited investigation by the commission. The commission had sought to interview executives at both the SABC and MultiChoice who entered into the agreement but this had not been allowed. Caxton and SOS appealed against the decision at the Constitutional Court, with the commission as an interested party. The court ruled in October that the scope of the investigation could not be restricted, allowing the commission to investigate further and interview executives who  signed the agreement.

On Friday the commission concluded that while the entertainment channel agreement did not constitute a merger, MultiChoice’s role in influencing the SABC’s policy on the encryption of set-top boxes made this a notifiable merger between the public broadcaster and the Naspers-owned operator.

Asked why they had gone against previous rulings by the tribunal and the Competition Appeals Court, commission spokesperson Sipho Ngwema said their decision was based on new facts, which outlined the role MultiChoice played in influencing the SABC’s decision on the encryption of set top boxes.

“The decisions of both the Tribunal and CAC [Competition Appeals Court] were based on the information before them. Subsequently, the Constitutional Court ruled that the commission could and should conduct an investigation into the transaction. This duly happened and new facts have emerged that MultiChoice did influence the SABC,” Ngwema said.

MultiChoice group executive for corporate affairs Joe Heshu said they disagreed with the commission’s recommendation.

“We’ve noted the recommendation of the Competition Commission. Our view remains that the 2013 agreement between MultiChoice and the SABC was not a merger but a standard channel supply agreement.“We have not been presented with the new facts to which the commission refers nor the opportunity to refute them. We will make further representations in the process to be conducted before the Competition Tribunal,” Heshu said.

SABC spokesperson Neo Momodu said in a statement that they had taken note of the commission’s ruling but they also did not agree that the agreement with MultiChoice constituted a merger. (BusinessDay South Africa)

Source News Express

Posted 12/11/2018 10:37:10 AM





You may also like...
I was a dollar millionaire in my 20s,...

Kaduna Governor promises more jobs

Suspected cattle rustlers kill 35 in Niger community...

Cross River denies banning devotion in schools

Anambra to begin export of rice soon —Obiano...

Unity Schools admission: Court orders FG and Education...

Anambra Governorship Election: South-East activists write INEC, Police,...

Aniagwu Buries Father-In-Law

12 reported dead in Kwara train accident

Pele files $30m lawsuit against Samsung

Group receives 2,151 cases of gender violence in...

Election: N-Power volunteers campaign for Buhari


Latest News Pastor regains freedom after seven months in Boko Haram custody Kidnappers kill businessman after collecting ransom 130 soldiers face court martial in Borno Ex-Governor’s aide escapes assassination NCP, Katsina Governor trade words over ‘bribe’ for judge Bayelsa guber: Gladiators who’ll shape poll Community protests alleged land racketeering in Enugu Nigerians have fifth worst average life expectancy of 55 years: Report Ex-British intelligence officer found dead in the street South East Miyetti Allah Chairman to members: Pray for continued peace with host communities David-West’s death painful — Obi •Says he served Nigeria and humanity to the best of his ability Nigeria contributes highest number to global pneumonia child deaths


Most Read NUDE PHOTO OF OMOTOLA JALADE-EKEINDE surfaces online (561,271 views) Nigerian female sex addict opens up, says ‘I like it with both men and women’ (451,572 views) Shameless Genevieve Nnaji exposes breasts in public (400,517 views) Finally named: The full list of friends of Nigerian female sex addict who prowled Facebook (334,532 views) OLUMBA OLUMBA OBU (the one who called himself God) IS DEAD (302,939 views) 10 cars more expensive than Jets (278,918 views) Igbo scholar disgraces Femi Fani-Kayode •Demolishes claims on Igbo/Yoruba history with facts and figures (258,346 views) Breaking News: POPULAR REVEREND CONVERTS TO ISLAM in Kaduna (Nigeria) (256,447 views) OBJ’s son reported dead in Lagos plane crash •Names of more victims emerge (237,955 views) My wasted years in Olumba Olumba Obu’s Evil Brotherhood (224,273 views) Lagos plane crash: Journalist releases victims’ names (200,935 views) THE FINAL DISGRACE: Igbo scholar unleashes more facts about Igbo/Yoruba history, finishes off Femi Fani-Kayode with second article (197,750 views)


CBN milk production

CBN banner advert

UBA Wise Savers Promo


Categories Advertorials (3) African Press Organisation (81) Art & Literature (108) Business & Economy (4,560) Business Verdict (85) Columnists (1,142) Complaints & Requests (97) Enterprise & Opportunities (219) Entertainment (701) Features (844) Global Business Monitor (493) ICT Monitor (67) International (4,192) Interview (211) Live Commentary (30) Love Matters (176) Maggie's Blog (481) News (53,857) Opinion (1,418) Pidgin (17) Politics (11,686) Religion (1,118) Sports (2,221) Stock Watch (39) AMA & Al Jazeera Global Update







APO Group Partner




GOCOP Accredited Member

GOCOP Accredited member



Africa Media Agency and Al Jazeera