Printing and publishing group Caxton, has been granted approval for "limited intervention" in the competition tribunal's deliberations of Naspers' proposed acquisition of Johncom's 38.6 percent stake in M-Net/SuperSport, writes Ann Crotty in Business Report 

Yesterday the tribunal ruled that Caxton's participation in the proceedings would be limited to issues related to the possible anticompetitive impact of the merger due to "mixed bundling" and "foreclosure" by Naspers. However, the tribunal dismissed a last-minute attempt by Caxton to intervene on public interest grounds.

At a hearing yesterday, tribunal chairman David Lewis said he could not see what Caxton's public interest claims had to do with the Competition Act or even with the public interest. Lewis told the lawyers acting on behalf of Naspers that they did not have to address the alleged public interest issues that had been raised at the last minute by Caxton.

In an affidavit submitted to the tribunal on Friday and signed by Caxton chief executive Terry Moolman, it was claimed that the fact that Naspers had not applied for exemption from provisions of the Electronic Communications Act (ECA) represented a matter of public interest.

As this matter had not been raised by the commission when it recommended approval of the transaction, Caxton believed that it needed to be raised before the tribunal. The ECA issues related to limitations on the control, cross-media control and foreign control of commercial broadcasting.

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