18 Apr 2003

Fiji politicians support rejection of TV monopoly

10:58 am on 18 April 2003

Political parties in Fiji have supported the Commerce Commission's rejection of a renewed monoploly licence for Fiji Television Limited.

The Fiji Sun reports that the parties maintain that competition in the television industry is healthy for the country.

After submissions from more than a thousand members of the public, the commission said there was no justification in Fiji TV's application for a ten year extension of its monopoly.

But the prime minister, Laisenia Qarase, a former chairman of Fiji TV, says the government could overrule the commission and have the last say.

The Fiji Democratic Party says it supports the Commerce Commission decision, adding that competition was needed to improve the quality of TV programmes.

The National Federation Party, the Labour Party and the Fijian Political party - the SVT all say there should be competition in the public interest

The SVT spokesperson, Ema Druavesi, says if the government interferes in the decision it would defeat the whole purpose of receiving submissions from the public.