zoom The South African Competition Commission has decided to block the proposed merger between Japan’s big three container shipping companies.Namely, the commission has prohibited the deal between Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha (K Line), Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL), and Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha (NYK Line) to merge their container liner shipping businesses to form a joint venture in that market.After considering the impact of the proposed transaction on the market for the provision of container liner shipping services and on the adjacent market of the car carriers shipping market where the joint venture partners compete, the commission has found that the structure of the container liner shipping market “is conducive to coordination based on previous collusive conduct in the container liner market in other parts of the world.”South African Competition Commission added that the merger “increases the likelihood of coordination as it creates further structural linkages in the container liner market.”The commission also found that the proposed transaction creates a platform for coordination in the car carrier market which has a history of collusion involving the merging parties.Announced in October 2016, the new joint-venture company would operate a fleet totaling 1.4 million TEUs, placing it as sixth in the market with approximately 7% of global share.K Line and MOL, which will each hold 31 percent, and their compatriot NYK Line, which will hold the remaining 38 percent, envisaged to establish the new joint-venture company on July 1, 2017, while business commencement was expected to start as of April 1, 2018.
Belgian telco Proximus continued to grow its TV base in 2018, adding 50,000 customers in the course of the year to take its total to 1.611 million, up 3.2%. Proximus increased its TV market share by half a percentage point in the course of the year to take it to 37.3%.Dominique LeroyThe company has also announced that is to launch a new converged offering targeted at millennials, Epic Combo, at the beginning of April. The offering will include “fixed and mobile internet access, music and social apps and free viewing of many video platforms, including the Proximus TV app and this on all screens”, according to Proximus CEO Dominique Leroy.Proximus added 149,000 to its all-in Tuttimus/Bizz offers, ending the year with 508,000 customers for those offers.The Belgian operator added 43,000 fixed broadband customers in the course of the year to take its total to 2.026 million, up 2.2%. the group also increased its contract mobile base by 3.5% to 4.016 million, but prepaid mobile fell by 14% to 822,000. Fixed voice fell by 4.1% to 2.516 million lines.Proximus’ strong showing in TV and contract mobile helped boost it maintain its domestic Belgian revenue at €4.458 billion for the year. Domestic EBITDA rose by 1.9% to €1.713 billion.Leroy said that despite a highly competitive environment, the company had secured further growth in its consumer base in the fourth quarter.“Operating in a highly competitive environment, we achieved in the last quarter of 2018 further growth in our consumer base for Internet, TV and Mobile Postpaid, driven by our ongoing customer centricity efforts, dual-brand strategy and market segmentation approach. In the family segment, our successful year-end campaign attracted many more customers to our convergent all-in offers Tuttimus/Bizz All-in, with the base now reaching 508,000,” she said.“The revamped mobile portfolio launched 1 November 2018, and the Epic offer designed for millennials drove a sound mobile customer growth. In the price-seekers segment, our no-frills brand Scarlet continued to grow its base, benefitting from a strong increase in brand awareness over the past year and occupying a competitive position on the low-end of the market.”