Baiting of Foreign Online Business in Namibia

Groundless claims from NaCC (Namibian Competition Commission), complete ban on the use of online service NamCars, and even in advance untruthful news on largest Namibian newspapers with ambiguous hints of ethnic and religious difference. These are the ways of “welcoming” foreign enterprise and redistribution of the Namibian online media market.

Since September 2013 one of the top popular vehicle advertising website in Namibia NamCars.net is being under investigation of NaCC, however the reason for investigation was an attempt of NamCars.net to comply with algorithms of Search Engines regarding “unique content”, which turned out to be very hard for understanding by NaCC “detectives” who were assigned for the above-mentioned investigation.

After 3,5 years of investigation by NaCC they decided to finalize their case by official prohibition of advertising on NamCars.net for all Namibian new & used cars dealerships under threat of sanctions and fines. NamCars.net Management’s respond was published on their blog with Open Appeal to NaCC, however no reply followed. And then on November 24, 2017, one of the largest newspaper “The Namibian” published an article describing the merits of NaCC in the fight against “the monopoly” in the media market of Namibia.

They would probably get away with it unless some critics did not pay attention to inconsistencies in facts. For instance, NamCars.net made a statement on their developer’s blog denying even knowing person mentioned by the newspaper as a Manager of NamCars.net. It is unknown whether that name was chosen randomly or intentionally, but with some deeper look, mentioning middle-east name as manager of the online business NamCars.net and associating it with something different from what it is, it can be considered as an attempt to incitement of ethnic and religious hostility by local media.

Whether there is some subtext or not – that’s one thing to judge, but so far, “The Namibian” newspaper did not remove fake news even after direct contacting the newspaper by real manager of NamCars.net Mr. Andriy Bondar who is official founder and representative of “Dealer Login” and it’s subcompany NamCars.net. “As an international company we are open to working and communicating with people disregarding their race, nationality or religion as long as they are reliable and trusted partners. But the fact is that there are no people from middle-east in my company. No employees, no funders, or shareholders. We are Ukrainian developers, with Spanish, and Belgian team members, and local partners in countries where Dealer Login is represented” Mr. Bondar said.