The transaction involved Media24's acquisition of 50% of the
issued share capital of Natal Witness. During the Competition
Commission's (Commission's) investigation, rival printer
Caxton and CTP Publishing and Printing Limited (Caxton) raised a
concern that in light of Media24 and Natal Witness' joint
ownership of Africa Web, a company which prints community
newspapers in KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape, the proposed
transaction would result in Media24 increasing its share in Africa
Web with the potential effect of Media24 using its increased
control to exclude community newspapers from the market. The merger
was referred to the Tribunal and Caxton intervened in the Tribunal
proceedings to oppose the merger.
The Tribunal however approved the merger subject to two conditions. The conditions imposed on the merging parties are that Media24 and Paarl Media are to notify the Commission of further mergers with small, independent publishers. In addition, the Media24 Group is prohibited from influencing the operations and strategies of Africa Web.
The conditions imposed on the merging parties will be in effect for five years from the date of the Tribunal's order, alternatively, for the duration of the merging parties' control of Africa Web.
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