South Africa Extends the Online Intermediation Platforms Market Inquiry

 South Africa Extends the Online Intermediation Platforms Market Inquiry
Photo: unsplash.com 21.04.2023 669

South Africa’s Minister of Trade, Industry, and Competition, Ebrahim Patel, has extended the period to complete the Online Intermediation Platforms Market Inquiry (OIPMI) until 19 May 2023.

The inquiry of the Competition Commission of South Africa is looking into online markets operating in South Africa and whether there are factors that could be hampering competition or undermining the public interest.

The Commission launched the study in February 2021, and it was scheduled to end on April 18, 2023.

For the past 26 months, it has been gathering evidence and holding public and in-camera hearings on online intermediation platforms in the ecommerce, app stores, travel and accommodation, food delivery, and online classifieds business.

In July 2022, the Competition Commission published a provisional report with recommendations based on its findings. These could have substantial ramifications for dominant players in their respective industries, such as Takealot, Apple App Store, Google Play Store, Google Travel, Google Shopping, Booking.com, Airbnb, Uber Eats, Property24 among others.

It found that Google Search plays an important role in guiding consumers to different platforms, meaning it shapes platform competition.

It provisionally found that the preferential placement of Google’s specialist search units distorts competition in the tech giant’s favour.

Therefore, it recommended that search results are based on relevance only and that Google allows market participants to compete for prominence in its search results by removing the guaranteed positions for Google’s search units.

The Competition Commission held public hearings between 2 and 19 November 2021. They involved companies such as Huawei, Naspers, Google, Expedia, UberEats, and Buzz Delivery, among others. The general functioning of the online economy and other issues highlighted by the competition was set to be addressed during the public hearings.

Source: Mybroadband

digital markets  South Africa 

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