NBC Director General Refutes Claims of Anti-Competitive Conduct Amid NaCC Investigation

Windhoek — Stanley Similo, Director General of the Namibian Broadcasting Corporation (NBC), has strongly denied allegations that NBC has barred other broadcasters from using its platforms. This denial comes in the wake of an ongoing investigation by the Namibian Competition Commission (NaCC) into claims of NBC’s anti-competitive practices.

According to Namibia Press Agency, who spoke on Tuesday, the NaCC’s release of its preliminary findings was both premature and inappropriate, given that the investigation is still active and awaiting responses from the implicated parties. “The NaCC’s highly publicised stance on NBC’s infrastructure sharing policy, particularly as it pertains to other market participants, is ongoing. Therefore, we consider the premature dissemination of the proposed findings by the regulator to be not only ill-advised but also potentially mischievous and malicious,” Similo criticized.

Similo further argued that the NBC has always sought fair contributions towards the upkeep of shared broadcasting infrastructure, opposing the notion that NBC has ever restricted access to its platforms. “It is important to clarify that NBC has never prevented other broadcasters from accessing its platforms. Rather, we have sought for an equitable annual contribution towards the maintenance of the shared infrastructure, as opposed to allowing free riding,” he stated.

The NaCC’s investigation centers on allegations that NBC engaged in restrictive practices by limiting market access for other free-to-air broadcasters on the Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) network. The investigation suggests that NBC’s actions might have hindered market outlets, investment, technical development, and technological progress, which could be a violation of Section 26 (1) read with Section 26 (2) (b) of the Competition Act No. 2 of 2003.

NBC has been granted a 30-day period to submit written responses or request an oral hearing regarding the NaCC’s findings. The outcome of this process will decide whether the preliminary findings will be upheld or revised, determining NBC’s compliance with competition laws.

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