The competition tribunal said it was unreasonable and unfair to grant injunctions to eMedia in its fight against MultiChoice, which removed a number of eMedia channels from its DStv platform in April.
The arbitration tribunal went ahead Monday released the reasons for its May 31 order and denied eMedia Investments’ request for injunctive relief against MultiChoice.
eMedia had sought an injunction to prohibit MultiChoice from broadcasting channels E.tv Extra, eToonz, eMovies and eMovies Extra from the channel packages on the DStv platform.
eMedia applied for provisional legal protection for a period of six months or until the final decision of their submitted to COMCO in March 2022 Complaint against MultiChoice, whichever comes first.
Alternatively, eMedia sought an injunction ordering MultiChoice to license its channels on the DStv platform on the same terms and conditions genes such as MultiChoice before April 1, 2022.
With reasoning published on Monday, the court said injunctive relief is a procedure to temporarily protect and preserve competition while the Commission conducts investigations .
It said that granting interim relief will be decided on the basis of evidence before the court, without making a full investigation and oral evidence.
The Arbitral Tribunal said the injunctive relief — without the benefit of a full investigation and the implications of the requirement under the Electronic Communications Act for licensees of subscription television services, licensees of public service broadcasting services, such as the SABC, on the state of competitiveness in the market as Whole – The level of competition in the market may be unreasonable in favor of eMedia over others competitors in the market.
The Arbitral Tribunal said this was inconsistent with its role to prevent harm to competition in the market as a whole, rather than harm to a competitor.
MultiChoice had acquired, marketed and distributed the discontinued channels on DStv under an agreement since 2017.
MultiChoice had refused to renew the agreement, according to eMedia.
eMedia argued, among other things, that MultiChoice’s refusal to carry the discontinued channels constituted an abuse of a dominant position.
MultiChoice argued that the decision not to renew the channels was made for commercial reasons.
It was said that eMedia had a number of options – such as OpenView – for distributing its content.
The Arbitral Tribunal found, based on the evidence before it, that eMedia had not determined at first glance that MultiChoice was a mark tabused a dominant position.
The Arbitral Tribunal was not convinced by the evidence that the failure to renew the discontinued channels had an anti-competitive effect leading to foreclosure or harm to consumer welfare.
One of the reasons for this is that consumers can continue to watch the program on discontinued channels on other platforms, such as B. eMedia’s own OpenView platform.