THE Namibian Competition Commission (NCC) has found Computicket Namibia (Pty) Ltd guilty of abusing its dominant position by imposing exclusive agreements on its clients, namely event organisers, venue owners and operators.
In addition, the Commission also found that Computicket had engaged in price discrimination and tying and bundling.
Price discrimination in competition law generally refers to the practice of selling a product or service at different prices to different customers even though the cost of producing or selling the product is the same.
Tying and bundling arises where two products or services are offered jointly with no option to procure the products or services separately, despite the products being distinct and separate in their nature.
The Commission’s investigations also revealed that Computicket concluded agreements in terms of which Computicket is appointed as the sole provider of the ticketing services for the duration of its agreements with clients, reportedly 3 to 5 years.
This means that Computicket’s clients are therefore prohibited from using any other service provider for the duration of the agreement with Computicket. Conversely, Computicket’s competitors are prevented from being able to offer their services to these clients.
Computicket’s clients are further, as a consequence of these exclusive agreements, required to promote the availability of tickets through Computicket’s sales and distribution channels, namely retail outlets, call centres, internet, mobile applications and appointed agents.
The Commission, however, stressed that its findings are preliminary and that no final decision has been made.
“The identified affected undertakings, including Computicket and its competitors have been duly notified of the Commission’s preliminary findings and may call for an oral conference to make representations to the Commission on its preliminary investigation findings before a final determination can be made regarding whether or not the Commission will refer the matter to the High Court for remedial action as prescribed in the Competition Act,“ the Commission stated.
The Commission further calls on any persons or undertakings affected by Computicket’s conduct or the Commission’s preliminary decision to make submissions or representations to the Commission by 30 September 2019.