Few areas in competition law are more prone to dogmatic disputation than predatory pricing, the practice whereby an incumbent company seeks to force a rival from the market through sustained loss-making low prices. It is critical for a competition regime to get predatory pricing right as it intervenes in the very heart of the competitive process, whereby one company seeks to gain business from another by undercutting its prices. In a world of omnivorous tech giants and plucky entrants, the boundary where a dominant company’s discounting crosses into prohibited conduct should be clear. In the recent Media24 vs Competition Commission ruling, the Competition Appeal Court has drawn a clear line. For a case that spells out the law on pricing for a host of new industries, Media24 vs Competition Commission carries the distinct whiff of printer’s ink. It concerned a battle between two small community newspapers in the Free State mining town of Welkom in the early to late 2000s. These humble...

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