‘Monopolisation’ is misunderstood and freedom of contract infringed in sports rights broadcasting – MARTIN VAN STADEN
Proposed government interference in the pay TV market is a violation of the freedom of contract, which is not only critical in the commercial world, but a fundamental guarantee of individual and community autonomy from the dictates of third parties. Once we cede the principle of contract freedom and allow government, an unrelated and uninvolved third party, to dictate the terms of interpersonal and interorganisational agreements, we are giving away a major portion of our liberty.
Nobody likes a monopoly. Eskom’s monopoly is the reason for high electricity prices and blackouts. But a lack of understanding of the true definition of a detrimental monopoly can lead to even more detrimental consequences. The South African and Nigerian governments’ clampdown on “exclusivity agreements” in the pay TV market are examples of doing more harm than good by applying a misunderstanding of monopolisation, and, in the process, damaging successful private sector companies.
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