Primedia agrees to pay R2.7 mln in penalties over price fixing

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The Competition Commission has revealed that advertising media company Primedia has agreed to pay R2.7 million in penalties after an investigation found that the company engaged in collusion and price fixing along with twelve other media companies.

The investigation found that between 2004 and 2018 media firms, under the association, Out of Home Media South Africa, entered into collusive agreements which fixed prices and trading conditions in contravention of the Competition Act.

In 2018, the Commission initiated a complaint alleging that the firms agreed to develop a code of practice and standards that fixed payment and settlement terms for advertisers that purchase advertising space from them.

In addition to the R2.7 million administrative penalty, Primedia has also agreed to provide free Out of Home advertising services to small, medium and micro enterprises owned by historically disadvantaged persons to the value of R1.3 million over a period of 12 months.

While Primedia is the first respondent to settle with the Commission, the Commission has urged the remaining 12 respondents to settle the case against them.