The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has accepted an undertaking from Seven, Nine and TEN for an independent director and chair to the OzTAM board.
The ACCC investigated OzTAM’s structure and operations following a complaint from TEN who is believed to have taken exception to the way ratings for ONE were consolidated over the first eight weeks.
The ACCC interviewed OzTAM directors as part of its investigation.
It found it had the potential to facilitate anti-competitive conduct in breach of the Trade Practices Act 1974.
“The ACCC investigation revealed that the OzTAM arrangements could raise trade practices concerns,” ACCC chairman Graeme Samuel said.
“Under the arrangements, an OzTAM nominee director representing the interests of a particular shareholder could affect the reporting and marketing of new digital channels by other free-to-air broadcasters by refusing consent to the separate reporting of ratings data for those new channels.
“According to the undertaking, OzTAM, Seven, Nine and TEN will implement a number of steps to address the ACCC’s concerns,” he said. “These include the appointment of an independent director and chair to the OzTAM board with casting vote powers on certain matters.”
The news had been tipped last month by The Australian.