THE COMPETITION Commission has announced that an administrative penalty of R423,921 was imposed against United Stations by the Competition Tribunal.
This follows United Stations’ admission of participating in a cartel after being involved in price fixing and the fixing of trading conditions.
The company entered into a settlement agreement with the Competition Commission after 28 media companies were referred to the Tribunal for prosecution.
United Stations is the eighth company to conclude a settlement agreement with the Competition Commission and agree, among other things, to pay administrative penalties.
Other companies which have reached settlement agreements related to this issue include DStv Media Sales, Media24, Independent Media, Caxton, MTV Networks Africa, Mediamark, and Provantage Media.
Media Credit Co-Ordinators (MCC) accredited agencies were offered a 16.5% discount for payments made within 45 days of the statement date, while non-members were offered 15%.
The Commission’s investigation further found that the implicated companies, as MCC members, employed services of an intermediary company called Corex to perform risk assessments on advertising agencies for purposes of imposing a settlement discount structure and terms on advertising agencies.
The Commission found that the practices restricted competition among the competing companies as they did not independently determine the discounts and thereby fixed the price and trading terms in contravention of the Competition Act.
The table below lists the companies which have concluded settlement agreements and their subsequent administrative penalties.
|#||Media Company||Administration Penalty (fine)|
|1||DStv Media Sales||R22,262,599|
|4||Caxton & CTP Publishers and Printers||R5,806,890|
|7||MTV Networks Africa (MTV)||R966,693|