Gal-On: Ban joint control of media, nonfinancial bodies

Meretz laeder cites Nochi Dankner’s control of Ma’ariv as a case where cross-ownership could be used for personal interests.

By NADAV SHEMER
February 16, 2012 22:59
1 minute read.
Meretz MK Zehava Gal-On

Zehava Gal-On 311. (photo credit: YouTube screenshot)

 
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The committee examining market concentration should recommend banning cross-ownership of large media and non-financial institutions, Meretz leader Zehava Gal-On said Thursday. She cited Nochi Dankner’s control of Ma’ariv as a case where cross-ownership could be used for personal interests.

The government-appointed Committee on Strengthening Market Competitiveness, as it is officially known, is due to submit is final report in the coming days.

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The committee recommended in its interim report that business magnates be banned from simultaneously controlling large financial and non-financial institutions, and it proposed strengthening the Antitrust Authority’s legal powers.

Gal-On also wrote a letter to Antitrust Authority Director-General David Gilo on Thursday, urging him to examine whether Ma’ariv’s offer of a NIS 400 Shufersal voucher to subscribers constitutes a breach of existing regulations against restrictive practices.

The Hebrew daily’s offer is only enabled by the fact that it and Shufersal are both controlled by Dankner’s IDB Holdings Corp., Gal-On said in a statement sent to the press.

“In the short term, subscribers benefit. But in the long term, the public is harmed when an important newspaper refrains from critiquing the companies its owner controls,” the statement said.

In response, Ma’ariv chairman Danny Yakobi said rival Hebrew daily Yediot Aharonot had made a similar offer only a few months ago involving vouchers for supermarket chain Mega. He said he did not want to enter into a debate about market concentration, adding that Gal-On was pursuing the company out of her own interests.

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