Media24 predatory pricing case dismissed on appeal
The Competition Appeal Court yesterday set aside a predatory pricing case involving a community newspaper owned by Media24. The company had been accused of engaging in predatory pricing to drive out independent publications in the Welkom area between January 2004 and February 2009, notes a Fin24 report.
Media24, through its newspaper Forum, had been taken to the Competition Tribunal for engaging in predatory pricing in the advertising market in the Goldfieds area, where it was competing with the independently-owned Gold Net News (GNN). The Competition Commission had submitted that Media24 had used Forum as a ‘fighting brand’ to prevent GNN and other potential new players from entering the market.
In 2011, the Competition Tribunal said Forum did not make economic sense, other than being used for predatory objectives. In September 2016, the tribunal ruled against Media24, saying its actions had resulted in the closure of GNN. However, in its ruling dismissing the complaint, the Competition Appeal Court said the tribunal had failed to prove that the dominant firm would have increased its cash profits by charging market related prices during the disputed period.
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