The South African media regulator ICASA (The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa) has asked the country’s competition commission to investigate last July’s agreement for SABC to provide MultiChoice with a 24-hour news channel.
At the time local media reported that the agreement contained an obligation that required MultiChoice to transmit its free-to-air channel without encryption.
ICASA’s request comes amid a dispute between e.tv – South Africa’s fifth terrestrial channel – and MultiChoice over whether free-to-air TV services should involve access control of the set-top boxes. ICASA is concerned is could be a form of restrictive horizontal practice in the television market.
Already ICASA has requested a copy of the agreement between SABC and MultiChoice, but so far none has been forthcoming.