File Image: IOL

CAPE TOWN - Independent Media notes the findings of the Competition Commission relating to an investigation, which found that a number of media companies had colluded on offering discounts and payment terms to advertising agencies linked to Media Credit Co-Ordinators (MCC).

This matter dates back to 2011 when Independent Media was under the ownership of the Irish-based Independent News and Media (INM).

With the acquisition of Independent Media by a Sekunualo-led consortium in 2013, Independent Media became the largest black-owned South African media company.

 Sekunjalo embarked on a clean-up of all its business practices when the company took ownership in 2013.  This included co-operating fully with the Competition Commission's investigation.

In terms of the agreement reached with the Commission, Independent Media has agreed to pay an administrative penalty.  In addition, the company will make a contribution to the Economic Development Fund to be managed by the Media Development and Diversity Agency (MDDA), over three years.  This Fund provides assistance to small black-owned media and advertising agencies and bursaries to black students studying media.

Independent Media will also provide 25% bonus advertising space for every rand of advertising space bought by qualifying small agencies which are majority owned by black people. The company will obtain its own credit insurance so that these small agencies will not be required to commit any guarantees when booking advertising space.

Independent Media is satisfied with the outcome and is committed to working with and supporting the development of small black-owned media and advertising agencies.