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Caxton pulls out of task team

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By SAPA

Johannesburg - Media group Caxton has pulled out of the Print and Digital Media Transformation Task Team, it was reported on Thursday.

Caxton non-executive chairman Paul Jenkins said this was because the task team's work overlapped with that of the Competition Commission, reported The New Age newspaper.

The Competition Commission is probing suspected anti-competitive behaviour by Caxton, Naspers, Times Media and Independent Newspapers.

Moneyweb reported this week that the four media houses were informed in December that the Competition Commission was investigating possible market and information sharing.

The media companies have until February to respond to the allegations.

The anti-competitive allegations first surfaced at a Competition Tribunal hearing in March 2012 about a proposed merger between Media24 Limited, Paarl Coldset and the Natal Witness Printing and Publishing Company.

The transformation task team from which Caxton has now withdrawn, was set up in September to help the media industry develop a common strategy for transformation.

The team is examining issues such as ownership, management, employment equity, skills development, and the low level of black ownership in many large media groups.

Last year, it said it aimed to conclude its work by April.

The task team came about after Parliament's portfolio committee on communication criticised the print media sector and called for a transformation charter.

Print Media SA - now called Print and Digital Media SA - rejected the idea and said the media industry would deal with the matter in its own way. - Sapa

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