Pakistan Today (Lahore)

CCP warns key media industry players to refrain from violations


The Competitio­n Commission of Pakistan (CCP) has issued a order warning key players of the media industry, including the Pakistan Broadcaste­r Associatio­n (PBA), Broadcaste­r Advertiser­s Council (BAC), and Medialogic (Pvt) Limited, to refrain from indulging in anti-competitiv­e practices. The order was passed following an inquiry conducted on a complaint filed by BOL Media Network, Labbaik (Pvt.) Limited and BOL Enterprise­s (Pvt.) Limited against PBA, BAC and Medialogic (Pvt) Limited for prima facie violation of Section 4 of Competitio­n Act, 2010. As per details, BOL Network had alleged that it had been denied a rating by the above mentioned entities because of three arrangemen­ts between Medialogic, BAC, PBA and Pakistan Advertiser­s Society (PAS). The first agreement, dated July 15, 2018, was executed between Medialogic and PBA, wherein Medialogic was restricted from providing services to any other broadcaste­r other than PBA. The second agreement, signed in November 2017, was a joint venture (JV) agreement between PBA and PAS to create BAC. According to this agreement, the broadcaste­rs, who were not PBA members, were excluded from being members of BAC. The third agreement, dated January 5, 2018, was executed between BAC and Medialogic, under which BAC committed to endorsing the services provided by Medialogic being the official industry currency. Moreover, the approval of BAC will be necessary in case Medialogic grants rating to any other customer, the letter to CCP states. After an investigat­ion into the matter, the commission issued show cause notices to BAC, PBA and Medialogic. However, after hearing the case, a two-member bench of the CCP comprising Bushra Naz Malik and Mujtaba Ahmad Lodhi decided not to impose any penalties on PBA, BAC and Medialogic, keeping in view that the Supreme Court had already resolved the complainan­ts’ main grievances through a consent decree and law regulating the Television Audience Measuremen­t (TAM) data. The Supreme Court, in its order, held that PEMRA would be the sole regulator for the said market whereas BOL Media Network shall apply for subscripti­on of PEMRA; the rating companies shall follow the regulation­s and the terms and conditions of the license based on which they have been granted their license. The CCP gave BOL multiple chances to establish if there were any other grievances apart from the ones resolved through the apex court’s order so that it may adjudicate upon.

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