South African Competition Commission Sets the MDPMI Public Hearings Set for March 2024

MDPMI’s first public hearings from March 4-22 in Pretoria to discuss South Africa’s digital media distribution.

The Media and Digital Platforms Market Inquiry (“MDPMI”/ “Inquiry”) will hold its first round of public hearings from 04 to 22 March 2024 at the dtic Campus in Sunnyside, Pretoria.

The MDPMI, initiated in terms of section 43B(1)(a) of the Competition Act No. 89 of 1998 (as amended), is examining the distribution of media content on South Africa’s digital platforms and the Advertising technology (Adtech) markets that connect buyers and sellers of digital advertising inventory. The public hearings will be led by MDPMI Chairperson James Hodge, assisted by panel member Paula Fray and the technical team. The hearings will take place as a hybrid event, allowing participants to attend either in person or virtually. The proceedings will be broadcast on the Competition Commission SA YouTube channel and live-streamed on Facebook. The final schedule will be released on 23 February 2024, pending confirmation of attendance from all participants and confirmation of their allocated hearing slots.

The primary objective of the public hearings is to provide a platform for direct engagement between the Inquiry panel, technical team, and stakeholders. To date, the MDPMI has gathered extensive information from a wide range of industry stakeholders from submissions made to the Statement of Issues (“SOI”), Further Statement of Issues (“FSOI”), and Requests for Information (“RFI”). The public hearings will present another opportunity for stakeholders to not only provide their perspective on some of the issues raised in the SOI, FSOI, and aspects of the RFIs but to also provide their views on submissions made by other stakeholders in response to the Inquiry. Stakeholders will also be provided with the opportunity to highlight any issues not currently known to the Inquiry, as long as these concerns fall within the defined
scope.

The hearings will enable the Inquiry panel and technical team to engage directly with stakeholders in respect of their submissions around how these platform markets operate, the issues identified by the Inquiry to date, and any remedial actions stakeholders consider are necessary to address any issues identified in the SOI and FSOI.

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