All the price fixing cartel fines - including DStv Media Sales and Media24

Arthur

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It's a damn disgrace that government bureaucrats can impose these fines for what are absolutely legitimate and ethical business practices.

No-one is entitled to a discount. It is my business and my money, and I may give discounts to whomsoever I wish. If I decide to give discounts to all people shorter than 1.5m and older than 14 years, that is my business and Caesar has no right to intervene or to compel me to offer the same to others.

Similarly, if I decide to offer more favourable terms to all members of MyBB who post in the Philosophy section and no discount to those who post in the Sports section, that is my business and has nothing to do with Caesar. I am not morally or ethically obliged to independently evaluate each person.

This sort of fine by fatwa is nothing short of pillage and rapine. It is wrong, immoral and disgusting. It wrongly besmirches the name of the businesses involved. Every person concerned about right and wrong should be outraged.

PS. I have absolutely nothing to do with any of the companies involved. Not now and not ever in the past. I am simply a citizen concerned about the actions of out-of-control goverment bureaucrats who grasp neither ethics nor law, and who use tendentious interpretations to suck millions from the pockets of citizens. Disgusting.
 

wizardofid

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It's a damn disgrace that government bureaucrats can impose these fines for what are absolutely legitimate and ethical business practices.

No-one is entitled to a discount. It is my business and my money, and I may give discounts to whomsoever I wish. If I decide to give discounts to all people shorter than 1.5m and older than 14 years, that is my business and Caesar has no right to intervene or to compel me to offer the same to others.

Similarly, if I decide to offer more favourable terms to all members of MyBB who post in the Philosophy section and no discount to those who post in the Sports section, that is my business and has nothing to do with Caesar. I am not morally or ethically obliged to independently evaluate each person.

This sort of fine by fatwa is nothing short of pillage and rapine. It is wrong, immoral and disgusting. It wrongly besmirches the name of the businesses involved. Every person concerned about right and wrong should be outraged.

PS. I have absolutely nothing to do with any of the companies involved. Not now and not ever in the past. I am simply a citizen concerned about the actions of out-of-control goverment bureaucrats who grasp neither ethics nor law, and who use tendentious interpretations to suck millions from the pockets of citizens. Disgusting.
No mate you don't grasp law of sale, it clearly states, conditions of a sales agreement, must not be impossible, illegal or immoral, In other words you can't refuse a sale based on discrimination, you can't offer discounts that purposely excludes certain entities to cause damage or harm or exclude them from fair trade. Pick n' Pay can't have a sale on all products exclusive to club card members, and not offer club membership and sales to all entities so every one can take advantage.

Getting fined is about all the law can do, it's not exactly like the can carry away the company in cuffs and throw them in a jail cell.Yes there is problem that fines going into goverment pockets, but law can also stipulate where fines go, for example the pricing fixing of bread, in the past required the fine be passed back to the consumer, it could be used far more productively as a betterment of the industry or sponsoring education in this field, I will give you that, but on the rest, where do you get your hair brained opinions from, sitting on the thrown speaking to the unholy bog role of the 5th dimension...... ?
 

ekske1

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Arthur

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Oh, I understand the law.

What am I'm objecting to is its existence on the statute books and then the way it's interpreted and applied by petty bureaucrats. Just as I object to racial discrimination laws. They are bad and immoral laws.

I am not in thrall of a simplistic egalitarianism. And I am very emphatic in my opposition to State compulsion in commercial contracts.

Pick n' Pay can't have a sale on all products exclusive to club card members, and not offer club membership and sales to all entities so every one can take advantage.
I completely disagree. It's their business, and they may deal with whomsoever they wish on whatever terms they wish, in my view. The same goes for you and me and everyone else.

Similarly, if you or PnP (or anyone else) wish to offer specials to club members with birth years ending in an odd number, then that is and ought to be entirely your prerogative, and the State should not get involved. And should PnP wish to restrict membership of its club to only SA citizens (say), or people with a tattoo on their left elbow, then that's fine by me.

I recognise that I have no right to special business terms from anyone and, mutatis mutandis, neither you nor the State have the moral right to impose your simplistic egalitarianism on me or PnP or anyone else.
 

wizardofid

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Oh, I understand the law.

What am I'm objecting to is its existence on the statute books and then the way it's interpreted and applied by petty bureaucrats. Just as I object to racial discrimination laws. They are bad and immoral laws.

I am not in thrall of a simplistic egalitarianism. And I am very emphatic in my opposition to State compulsion in commercial contracts.

I completely disagree. It's their business, and they may deal with whomsoever they wish on whatever terms they wish, in my view. The same goes for you and me and everyone else.

Similarly, if you or PnP (or anyone else) wish to offer specials to club members with birth years ending in an odd number, then that is and ought to be entirely your prerogative, and the State should not get involved. And should PnP wish to restrict membership of its club to only SA citizens (say), or people with a tattoo on their left elbow, then that's fine by me.

I recognise that I have no right to special business terms from anyone and, mutatis mutandis, neither you nor the State have the moral right to impose your simplistic egalitarianism on me or PnP or anyone else.
All hail the unholy blog roll......:D

Problem is you do need to monitor and regulate, or it would be the wild west, I don't think it's an overreach, dictating terms of a sales contract and associate constitutional rights of the consumer with it.What is to stop company A from purposely selling all of it's goods at a loss to purposely drive out competition.There is fine line to walk on what is consider immoral and down right illegal, exclusions and specialties set forth in sales contracts is a cheeky means of stifling competition.

Any thing purposely affecting some one's bottom line already crossed the immoral boundary, it's unfortunate that we need to be told how to conduct business, but considering the two timing, back stabbing and down right dubious business practices we pretty much deserve what we get.
 

Arthur

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it's unfortunate that we need to be told how to conduct business
Speak for yourself. If you need controls and rules, implement them. It is highly presumptuous to include me or anyone else in your "we". Nothing gives you or anyone else the right to impose your contractual terms on me and then force me to accept them against my will.

There is a fundamental and in-principle difference between the proscription of force or fraud on the one hand, and the state-prescribed imposition of commercial contractual terms on the other. The former is legitimate and moral, the latter illegitimate and immoral.
 
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wizardofid

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Speak for yourself. If you need controls and rules, implement them. It is highly presumptuous to include me or anyone else in your "we". Nothing gives you or anyone else the right to impose your contractual terms on me and then force me to accept them against my will.

There is a fundamental and in-principle difference between the proscription of force or fraud on the one hand, and the state-prescribed imposition of commercial contractual terms on the other. The former is legitimate and moral, the latter illegitimate and immoral.
Same analogy could be used about speeding, one bad apple and the rest has to pay, is it any different ? It is after all protection and interest of others is it not, how selfish......Would be appropriate for law of sale to offer protection singular instead of society as a whole.I need to be protected from you charging undue interests, or any conditions that favors one entity more then another.

You speak of it being fundamentally flawed, that every entity should be able to conduct business as it pleases,I would hazard a guess of world ensuing chaos if every one was to conduct business as it pleases, plus to be frank you put far too much faith in businesses will conduct them self in a honorable fashion or least vast majority, you know it, as distasteful as it might be, law of sale and various related acts that accompany it, is a necessary evil, specially for economic stability in the relevant sector and as a whole.

Considering there isn't any indication where interference has specifically had a negative impact as a whole or gross overreach, you sir have no leg to stand on......
 

Arthur

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The root difference between your view and mine is that you believe the ends justify the means. I don't. All your arguments are utilitarian and pragmatist, with not a single appeal to principle.

I reject out of hand any laws that impose contractual terms in commercial treaties. Their intention might be good, and their outcomes might not be all bad, but those are only secondary considerations for me.

One first has to ask whether any person or collection of persons can arrogate to herself/themselves the right to use force to compel others to do business. I believe not. Not ever. So it follows that, no matter how laudable or selfless their motives, no person may infringe on another's liberty of contract through force, or threat of force, or fraud. Period.
 
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Swa

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The root difference between your view and mine is that you believe the ends justify the means. I don't. All your arguments are utilitarian and pragmatist, with not a single appeal to principle.

I reject out of hand any laws that impose contractual terms in commercial treaties. Their intention might be good, and their outcomes might not be all bad, but those are only secondary considerations for me.

One first has to ask whether any person or collection of persons can arrogate to herself/themselves the right to use force to compel others to do business. I believe not. Not ever. So it follows that, no matter how laudable or selfless their motives, no person may infringe on another's liberty of contract through force, or threat of force, or fraud. Period.
The problem with your view is that you want to apply it universally but you can't when monopolies are involved. Most of these have had their origins in monopolies where they have had undue protection so you can't say they should be allowed to conduct business in an unethical manner.

We've been through this before. MC has had monopoly protection for decades so there should be strict conditions to how they conduct business to ensure a level playing field. Otherwise we have to remove their protection and the assets they have as a result to make the playing field level. But for some reason you don't want either of these options.

Same with Vodacom. They are among a handful of companies that can provide a service. So you can't apply your principle that they should be allowed to conduct business as they please and discriminate on products because there isn't a free market to provide the service. Quite frankly I think any activity that requires a license to operate should be regulated in how they conduct business because there isn't an infinite market for other companies to take their place when they behave unethically.
 

Arthur

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For decades? Nonsense. M-Net began as one channel in 1986, as a begrudged concession by the Nats. By 1994 the last government restrictions on other providers were abolished. DStv launched in 1995. Since then the government has actually tried to encourage other broadcasters to break MultiChoice's grip on the market.
 

Arthur

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We've been through this many times before.

It's not as if MultiChoice had "government protection". That's a completely false way of looking at it, and bears no relation to the real history.

MultiChoice has its genesis in the early 1980s when the State-owned monopoly TV service (launched in '76) run by the SABC started carrying advertising for the first time. Newspaper advertising revenues were badly hit, and the survival of the independent press was in doubt. In some ways this suited the Nats, who detested the verligte English press. Many representations to government by the non-State media were rebuffed. Those were dark times.

In early 1984 PW Botha was persuaded by Koos Bekker of Nasionale Pers (Naspers) to meet with a delegation of newspaper editors to hear their complaints about how state media was sucking huge revenue from non-state media and threatening their survival. Remember, the State had a monopoly on all radio and tv in SA.

The upshot was that the Nat govt reluctantly agreed to allow a consortium of SA newspapers to establish a private (non-State) subscription-only tv service on one channel, provided it was encoded and encrypted and not free to air. The new service would be privately funded and was permitted to carry advertising, a sop to their main beef about SABC monopoly on commercial tv. It was expressly forbidden to carry news. Naspers, Times Media, Argus and Perskor were the partners, but quite soon Naspers emerged as the main driver and funder, and eventually it bought out its other partners.

The new service was launched in 1986, with one channel, M-Net. It used terrestrial transmitters operated by State-owned Sentech.

In 1989 M-Net was permitted to start a second channel, called M-Net SuperSport, the country's first sports-only channel. They also tried to grow beyond SA. For the first time South Africans really had multiple choice tv, though SABC still dominated broadcasting and ad revenues.

In 1989 when FW de Klerk became president, the little station run by MultiChoice rapidly added other services and feeds, bringing non-news actuality programs from elsewhere (such as BSkyB and even BBC to local viewers who had until then only ever seen SABC News.

In 1993 M-Net was split into two companies, mainly to prepare for the satellite tv revolution about to hit SA with the launch of new DB birds.

The satellite broadcast Service DStv was launched in 1995. Flush with the euphoria of peaceful transition to BMR (Black Majority Rule), SA-based companies including MultiChoice quickly expanded into Africa.

Yes, it's true that M-Net was the only legal non-State tv service in SA for nearly a decade. But that's not because they were protected from competition but because a narrow and illiberal statist and Nat government, steeped in a Total Onslaught mentality, flatly refused to allow any alternative voice in SA other than the SAUK. MNet was forbidden to carry any news programs - which is why their workaround Carte Blanche became legendary.

It is a complete misrepresentation to paint M-Net as a protected monopoly. It was the sole permitted alternative to His Master's Voice aka SAUK.

If you want to blame anyone, blame the statist Nats, who ran a Security State to keep the SA population in line. M-Net and later MultiChoice was our one permitted alternative to the monotonous SAUK/SABC.
 
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Swa

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For decades? Nonsense. M-Net began as one channel in 1986, as a begrudged concession by the Nats. By 1994 the last government restrictions on other providers were abolished. DStv launched in 1995. Since then the government has actually tried to encourage other broadcasters to break MultiChoice's grip on the market.
M-Net and Dstv are both Multichoice so no restrictions abolished or new entrants. StarSat (TopTV) and OpenView were only allowed to launch in the last decade and they're still not allowing others entry.
 

Arthur

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Your timing is off. The Mandela government from 1994 virtually begged other players to enter the market, specifically to counterbalance MultiChoice, who were not in government favour.

It is not MultiChoice's fault that others have failed. In my view that's mainly because they do such a damn good job. It's not because they enjoy government protection. Quite the opposite. The Nats reluctantly tolerated them in the Total Onslaught days, and the ANC regime has always been rather keen to break their hold on the market.
 

Swa

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We've been through this many times before.

It's not as if MultiChoice had "government protection". That's a completely false way of looking at it, and bears no relation to the real history.
It was the result up to 2007 and in practicality 2010 whether it was the intended consequence or not.

It is a complete misrepresentation to paint M-Net as a protected monopoly. It was the sole permitted alternative to His Master's Voice aka SAUK.
Yet they were which resulted in them being the position they are in now.

If you want to blame anyone, blame the statist Nats, who ran a Security State to keep the SA population in line. M-Net and later MultiChoice was our one permitted alternative to the monotonous SAUK/SABC.
That's like blaming apartheid for the problems arising today. We had two cellular operators launching in 1994 yet no other pay-tv operator was granted a license for another 13 years only being allowed to operate after 16 years. Both regimes are guilty, the new one perhaps more so as the technology is there now but nobody was allowed to use it.
 

Swa

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Your timing is off. The Mandela government from 1994 virtually begged other players to enter the market, specifically to counterbalance MultiChoice, who were not in government favour.

It is not MultiChoice's fault that others have failed. In my view that's mainly because they do such a damn good job. It's not because they enjoy government protection. Quite the opposite. The Nats reluctantly tolerated them in the Total Onslaught days, and the ANC regime has always been rather keen to break their hold on the market.
Your view is warped. MC is only doing a "good" job because of the advantage they were given. That is protection. The regulations are still in their favour. For instance advertising revenue is not allowed to exceed 25% if I remember the figure correctly. You think it's bad for monochoice as well but it's actually in their favour. What it means is ad space has to be filled mostly with own programming plus if you drop subscription prices you have to drop ad prices as well. This makes the non-entrenched entities unable to compete properly.

Sure the ANC has always talked about ending the monopoly but their actions have always supported and protected it. Even with set top boxes they chose the option that MC advocated instead of the one that will enable better competition.
 

Arthur

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Look, you don't have to convince me about the virtues of the free market or the many, many vices of State control, restriction, regulation, and licensing. As is plain, I'm an adamant free-marketer (and launch member of the Free Market Foundation, btw). I opposed the State's restrictions back then, and I oppose them now.

You are quite wrong to blame MultiChoice for restrictive State policies. The blame lies with government, and solely with government.

Likewise, people are wrong to blame MultiChoice for their sports broadcasting 'monopoly'. Yes, they negotiate exclusives where they can, and they pay through their teeth for them. But the power of exclusive rights lies with the sports owners - it is they who sell exclusive rights, and it is they who can change it, not MultiChoice.

MultiChoice gets a bad rap from a disgruntled public because they're the paypoint, the one place where people hand over hard cash for what is in reality bad state policy and law. In my view, South Africans are notoriously bad at identifying and blaming the real culprits, because they've always been in thrall of the Big Daddy/Chief State. That was the problem then under the Nats, and it's the problem now under the ANC.
 
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Swa

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The point is they've had protection for decades whether it was intended as such or as a side effect. They benefited from regulations whether they asked for them or not. They use the benefit they received to keep their sport monopoly intact. I never said government wasn't and isn't still to blame.
 

Arthur

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That's like blaming apartheid for the problems arising today.
But you're blaming the victim.

M-Net (later MultiChoice) never asked for or sought exclusivity. From the get-go all the partners - who were commercial rivals - argued for an open market. Naspers, Times Media, Argus and Perskor were forced into an unnatural alliance because it was the only option permitted by the State.
 
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