Print and Digital Media South Africa is continuing with its investigation into transformation of the media as two of the major companies who pulled out of the process recommitted themselves to taking part.
CEO Ingrid Louw said issues around two of the major print media companies pulling out of the process – Caxton and the Times Media Group – citing a concurrent Competition Commission inquiry into allegations of anti-competitive behaviour by the four major print media houses in South Africa, had been resolved.
The Competition Commission announced in December that it was investigating allegations of anti-competitive behavior in the industry, giving rise to the concerns about the possible duplication of the two processes. This was a completely unexpected development that impacted the work plan of the task team.Caxton and Times Media Group subsequently announced that they were re-considering their participation in the Transformation Task Team process.
Louw said on Thursday that the two companies had needed time to seek legal opinion and consult with both the Print and Digital Media Transformation Task Team (PDMTTT) and the competition authorities to ensure that their involvement in the task team process would not jeopardise the investigations launched by the Competition Commission.
She said Tuesday’s meeting of the country’s biggest media houses – Independent Newspapers , Media 24, Times Media Group, Caxton and Mail & Guardian – had resolved the problem caused by the possible overlap of the work of the task team and that of the Competition Commission.
“This matter has now been satisfactorily resolved. All the print media houses are resolute in their commitment to transformation and have re-affirmed their support for the work of the task team. They will be making presentations to the Task Team, as previously planned, by the end of April,” said Hoosain Karjieker, president of PDMSA.
The PDMTTT was established by the PDMSA in September 2012 to investigate issues of transformation in the print and digital media, with a view to producing a transformation blueprint for the industry.