Sport

Anticompetitive practices

Sports and competition law: An overview of EU and national case law
Sidley Austin (Brussels)
,
Norton Rose Fulbright (Paris)
1. Introduction This invaluable e-Competitions special issue on sports brings together more than 60 case summaries arising from the different EU Member States over the last five years. Practitioners and others with an interest in the interface between sports and competition law are only too (...)

Sports and competition law: An overview of EU and national case law
Baker McKenzie (Brussels)
,
Baker McKenzie (Brussels)
,
Baker McKenzie (Brussels)
Introduction The EU Courts established more than 40 years ago that "the practice of sport is subject to Community law […] in so far as it constitutes an economic activity." Sport is not just an economic activity, but big business, by some estimates accounting for almost 4% of European GDP and (...)

The EU Commission Commission sends a statement of objections to an international sports association because of the possible incompatibility of its governance rules with competition law (International Skating Union)
Liège University - IEJE
,
Liege Competition and Innovation Institute
International sport governing bodies and competition law - up to a ‘ban of banning’ for participation in unauthorised events organized by rival governing bodies. European Commission ready to set an example with the International Skaters Union? After opening a formal investigation into the (...)

The EU Commission challenges the governance rules of an international sports association as being incompatible with competition law (International Skating Union)
Gibson Dunn (Brussels)
,
Gibson Dunn (Brussels)
Skating on thin ice: The European Commission challenges the governance rules of an international sports association as being incompatible with European antitrust rules* The recent announcement by the European Commission (“the Commission”) that it is actively looking into the compatibility of (...)

The Italian Competition Authority fines undertakings for an anticompetitive agreement concerning the assignment of broadcasting rights to Italian football league matches (Vendita diritti televisivi Serie A 2015-2018)
Bonelli Erede (Rome)
,
Bonelli Erede (Rome)
In its decision of 19 April 2016, the Italian Competition Authority (“ICA”) imposed fines totalling EUR 66 million on Sky and Mediaset, the main television operators in the pay-tv market, and on the Italian Football League (“Lega Calcio”) and its advisor Infront, for breach of Article 101 of the (...)

The Croatian Competition Authority fines several sports betting companies for cartel (Bolus / Favorit sportska kladionica)
Croatian Competition Agency
CCA establishes a cartel between betting shops* The undertakings engaged in sports betting Bolus, Favorit sportska kladionica, Germania Sport, Prva sportska kladionica and Super Sport agreed on the future bookmaker commission fee in the Republic of Croatia. The CCA fined the bookmakers 9.7 (...)

The Higher Regional Court of Frankfurt rules on restrictions on the use of online platforms and price comparison websites in a selective distribution system (Deuter)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 22 December 2015, the Higher Regional Court of Frankfurt (the “Court”) issued a ruling on appeal concerning the selective distribution system of Deuter, a producer of quality backpacks. The Court assessed two restrictions imposed by Deuter on the resellers belonging to its selective (...)

The Turkish Competition Board grants individual exemption to an agreement signed on broadcasting rights (Turkish Basketball Federation/ Digiturk)
Erdem & Erdem (Istanbul)
The Competition Board (“Board”) has granted individual exemption to the Media Rights Agreement (“Agreement”) signed by and between Turkish Basketball Federation (“TBF”) and Krea İçerik Hizmetleri ve Prodüksiyon A.Ş. (“Digiturk”) in accordance with Art. 5 of Act on the Protection of Competition No. 4054 (...)

The Belgian Competition Authority imposes provisional measures in a case involving TV rights for a series of cyclocross competitions (Telenet)
Belgian Competition Authority (Brussels)
The Competition College of the Belgian Competition Authority has imposed on the 5th of November 2015 provisional measures with regard to TV rights for the Superprestige cyclocross competition* The v.z.w. Verenigde Veldritorganisatoren (the organizer) and Telenet concluded an agreement granting (...)

The EU Commission opens formal investigation into eligibility rules of a professional sport association (International Skating Union)
European Commission - DG COMP
Antitrust: Commission opens formal investigation into International Skating Union’s eligibility rules* The European Commission has opened a formal antitrust investigation into International Skating Union (ISU) rules that permanently ban skaters from competitions such as the Winter Olympics and (...)

The US FTC settles restrictive practices charges with trade associations after they agreed to implement changes and compliance programs (PSA, PLASMA)
Weil, Gotshal & Manges (Washington)
In Settlement with FTC, Trade Associations Agree to Change Rules and Adopt Antitrust Compliance Programs* On March 3, 2015, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) announced two separate final orders with trade associations, Professional Skaters Association, Inc. (“PSA”) and Professional Lighting and (...)

A US Court of Appeals upholds the baseball industry’s historic antitrust exemption (City of San Jose)
Constantine Cannon (Washington)
Baseball Antitrust Exemption Extends 93-Year Winning Streak In Federal Courts* Although federal courts may consider baseball’s antitrust exemption to make about as much sense as the infield fly rule, last week’s decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in City of San Jose v. (...)

A US District Court holds that NCAA restrictions on college players exploiting and receiving licensing revenue from the use of their names, images and likenesses violates antitrust law (O’Bannon / NCAA)
Constantine Cannon (New York)
,
Constantine Cannon (New York)
NCAA’s Loss In O’Bannon Trial May Be Only A Partial Victory For Competition* Although competition scored a win on Friday in the student athletes’ antitrust suit led by former UCLA basketball player Ed O’Bannon against the NCAA, it wasn’t a complete blowout. Judge Claudia Wilken of the U.S. (...)

U.S. Court finds that an athletics association’s rules restricting payments to student-athletes violate antitrust laws (O’Bannon v. NCAA)
Rutgers University
On August 8, 2014, in O’Bannon v. National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), Judge Claudia Wilken of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California found that the NCAA violated the antitrust laws by enacting rules that prevented student-athletes from being paid for the use (...)

The English High Court dismisses a competition law challenge to a disciplinary rule imposing sanctions for actions assessed to be inimical to the sport (Baker / The British Boxing Board of Control)
Blackstone Chambers
Avoiding the clinch: judicial respect for the rules inherent to sport* In a recent bout in the High Court, the specificity of sporting disputes once again came to the fore. In Bruce Baker v British Boxing Board of Control [2014] EWHC 2074 (QB), 25 June 2014, Sir David Eady was faced with the (...)

A US Court deals with a complaint based on an allegation of anti-competitive restrictions preventing payments to players for use of their name, image, and likeness (O’Bannon / NCAA)
Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice (Charlotte)
Three Questions for the Third Week of the O’Bannon v. NCAA Trial* As the O’Bannon v. NCAA trial enters its third week, commentators are already predicting the fall of the “college sports cartel.” In the case, a group of about 20 current and former college men’s basketball and football players, led (...)

A US District Court files an antitrust action against a boycott impeding private schools to compete on the markets for commercial exhibition of high school football contests and basketball contests in Virginia (Liberty Christian Academy / VHSL)
Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice (Washington D.C.)
Do Public School Athletic Leagues Have To Admit Private High Schools?* Liberty Christian Academy (LCA), a private high school in Lynchburg, Virginia, has filed an antitrust action against the Virginia High School League (VHSL), a non-profit organization of public high schools in Virginia. The (...)

A US District Court receives a complaint on an allegation of anticompetitive agreements to exclude the plaintiff from the market for ownership of professional basketball franchises (Donald Sterling / NBA)
Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe (San Francisco)
Basketball, Surreptitious Recordings, and Antitrust* Donald Sterling — yes, that Donald Sterling — filed an antitrust lawsuit a few days ago against the National Basketball Association. You can download a copy here: Sterling Antitrust Complaint. It’s not clear if the complaint has now been (...)

The Swedish Competition Authority welcomes undertaking by a sportive association not to suspend or fine members who participate in competing events (Bodybuilding Association)
Swedish Competition Authority (Stockholm)
Swedish Bodybuilding Association changes its application of loyalty clause* The Swedish Competition Authority welcomes the Swedish Bodybuilding Association’s (SKKF) confirmation that it will not suspend or fine members who participate in competing events. The Swedish Competition Authority has (...)

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission issues a draft objection notice proposing to revoke two collective bargaining notifications lodged by a national industry body representing the interests of online wagering and sportsbetting companies (AWC)
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission
ACCC proposes to revoke immunity for collective bargaining and collective boycott against NRL by betting agencies* The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has issued a draft objection notice proposing to revoke two collective bargaining notifications lodged by the Australian (...)

The Danish Competition Council accepts new commitments regarding the clubs’ joint sale of media rights for national league football (Superliga)
Danish Competition and Consumer Authority (Copenhagen)
Danish Competition Council Accepts New Commitments regarding Danish Football Clubs’ Joint Sale of Media Rights* On 26 February 2014 the Danish Competition Council accepted new commitments offered by the Association of Danish League Clubs regarding the clubs’ joint sale of media rights to Danish (...)

The Polish Office of Competition and Consumer Protection fines one company for resale price maintenance on the ski equipment and accessories market (Sport & Freizeit)
Wiercinski Kwiecinski Baehr (Poznan)
,
WKB Wierciński Kwieciński Baehr (Warsaw)
On 31 December 2013, the President of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection (hereinafter “the OCCP President”) issued a decision concerning minimum resale price maintenance practices on the market of ski equipment and accessories in Poland (Decision No. DOK – 7/2013). Although the (...)

The Spanish Competition Authority fines media company and football clubs for breaching a resolution on the acquisition of broadcasting rights for football competitions (Mediapro, Real Madrid, FC Barcelona, Sevilla and Racing de Santander)
European Commission
Spain: The Comisión Nacional de los Mercados y la Competencia fines Mediapro and four Football Clubs € 15 000 000* On 2 December 2013, the Council of the National Commission for Markets and Competition (Comisión Nacional de los Mercados y la Competencia or CNMC) imposed fines amounting to € 15 (...)

The Italian Competition Authority launches an investigation into a suspected breach of Article 101 TFEU in relation to the supply of nutrition products for wellness and fitness (Enervit)
Queen Mary University (London)
In November 2013, after receiving a complaint from a pharmacist and owner of a website for online retail shopping, the Italian Antitrust Authority (AGCM) has started a formal investigation on vertical restrictions of competition stemming from agreements between Enervit S.p.A. (Enervit), a (...)

A US District Court certifies a class seeking injunctive relief, though declines to certify a damages class arising from the allegedly preclusive effect of the rules that would impede group licensing arrangements with videogame developers and broadcasters (NCAA Student Athletes)
Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe (San Francisco)
Injunctive Relief, but not Damages Class, Certified in NCAA Student-Athlete Litigation* In In re NCAA Student-Athlete Name & Likeness Licensing Litigation, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 160739 (N.D. Cal. Nov. 8, 2013) (Wilken, J.)., the Court certified a class of current and former (...)

The US District Court of Northern California rejects the motion of the defendants to dismiss challenging antitrust claims arising out of an exclusive license deal (Patrick Dang/San Francisco Forty Niners)
Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe (San Francisco)
Single-Brand Market Claims Are Not Dead* Modern antitrust law’s focus on inter-brand competition has made it much more difficult to plead and prove single-brand market claims. The law’s concern with inter-brand competition is so strong that some observers have all but written off such claims as (...)

The Belgian Competition Authority conducts dawn raids at the premises of the incumbent on the Belgian market for lotteries and betting (Nationale Loterij/Loterie Nationale)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
In a press release of 25 July 2013, the College of Competition Prosecutors confirmed that it had carried out dawn raids on 23 July 2013 at the premises of Nationale Loterij/Loterie Nationale, the incumbent on the Belgian market for lotteries and betting. Reportedly, the dawn raids follow (...)

The EU Court of Justice upholds the ruling that adjudication on the merits would be devoid of purpose since the applicant didn’t have sufficient interest in the matter at the time he brought his challenge to the Commission’s decision (Guillermo Cañas)
Blackstone Chambers
Cañas: no sufficient interest in showing anti-competitive rules* Retirement comes too soon for many professional sports players, but for Guillermo “Willy” Cañas, an Argentinean tennis player once ranked world number 8, there was yet more to be lost upon retirement than just the tournament prizes (...)

The Swedish Market Court sees a non profit association for motor sports as an undertaking and rules against certain prohibitive rules (Svenska Bilsportsforbundet)
Baker McKenzie (Stockholm)
The "Svenska Bilsportförbundet" ("SBF") is a non-profit organisation adopted by the National Sports Federation ("Riksidrottsförbundet") as a "special sports federation" for the organisation of motorsports in Sweden. The SBF organises a number of motorsport organisations in Sweden. For the (...)

The Swedish Market Court prohibits the application of excessively stringent loyalty rules (Swedish Automobile Sports Federation)
Swedish Competition Authority (Stockholm)
Good for competitors, spectators and the development of automobile sports* The decision of the Swedish Market Court stating that the Swedish Automobile Sports Federation may not apply their loyalty rules is good for those involved in automobile sports as well as for the spectators. “I am very (...)

The Swedish Market Court adopts a decision stating that a sport automobile federation cannot apply its loyalty rules in the future (Automobile Sports Federation)
European Commission
Sweden: Market Court’s Decision in Automobile Sports Federation Case* On 20 December 2012, the Swedish Market Court (the Court) adopted a decision stating that the Swedish Automobile Sports Federation (the Federation) cannot apply its loyalty rules in the future. In May 2011, the SCA issued a (...)

The Federal Court of Australia rejects competition law challenge to thoroughbred horse racing rules that exclude thoroughbred bred by artificial insemination (McHugh v The Australian Jockey Club)
Brent Fisse Lawyers (Paddington)
1. Artificial insemination and thoroughbred racehorses –anti-competitive agreements and the decision in McHugh v The Australian Jockey Club Limited [2012] FCA 1441(19 December 2012) Thoroughbred horse racing around the world is governed by rules that do not allow thoroughbreds bred by (...)

The Swedish Competition Authority issues an interim order prohibiting national elite ice hockey league from boycotting players from North America’s national hockey league (Svenska Hockeyligan)
European Commission
Sweden: The Swedish Competition Authority issued an interim order prohibiting Svenska Hockeyligan AB, Sweden’s elite ice hockey league, from boycotting players from North America’s National Hockey League* On 20 September 2012, the Swedish Competition Authority (SCA) issued an interim order (...)

The Romanian Competition Council addresses new developments on the joint selling of commercial rights for football broadcasting (Romanian Football Federation)
Kinstellar (Bucarest)
,
OMV Petrom
Original case In 2011, an investigation launched on the national market of media rights over football competitions brought the first case in which the investigated parties proposed commitments based on the new guidelines on commitments adopted by the Romanian Competition Council (“RCC”) in the (...)

The UK Appeal Tribunal of the Rugby Football Union, composed of 3 QCs rules that provisions for Primacy of Tenure with three clubs exemption rule constitute an infringement of Articles 101(1) and 102 TFEU (London Welsh/RFU)
Blackstone Chambers
Competition law achieves fair play* The London Welsh decision provides a rare but telling example of competition law marching its way onto the field of professional sport. London Welsh won rugby union’s Championship in the 2011-12 season. This would, in ordinary circumstances, have entitled (...)

The U.S. Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals rules that an association may limit the number of available scholarships and place restrictions on those awarded without committing antitrust violations in the market for scholarships granted to student athletes (Agnew/NCAA)
University of Pennsylvania - The Wharton School of Management (Philadelphia)
Many of the most impactful cases in the history of sports law are antitrust based. Those cases range from a 1920s foundational case granting baseball’s antitrust exemption to the series of landmark cases evaluating the move by the Raider’s NFL franchise back and forth between Los Angeles and (...)

The Paris Commercial Court seeks the opinion of the French Competition Authority on the broadcasting rights for championship football matches (Ligue de Football professionnel)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Press Release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. The Paris Commercial Court seeks the opinion of the Autorité de la concurrence on the compatibility with competition rules of the call for tenders the Ligue de Football Professionnel (LFP - French professional (...)

The German Competition Authority accepts commitments offered by two sports leagues concerning the joint award of media rights (League Association, German Football League)
European Commission
Germany: Green Light for current Marketing Model of Football League Media Rights * On 17 April 2012, the award procedure for the media rights of the 1st and 2nd German football leagues has been concluded. On 12 January 2012, the Bundeskartellamt (BKartA) accepted the commitments offered by (...)

The Turkish Competition Board decides that the match-fixing activities of football clubs are outside the scope of Turkish competition legislation (The Turkish Football Clubs)
GlaxoSmithKline (Istanbul)
The Turkish Competition Board (the “Board”) recently (on 21 June 2012) made public its reasoned decision (the “Decision”) on the match-fixing activities of some of Turkey’s football clubs, a scandal that has gripped the Turkish public since last year. In contradiction of the claims of the third (...)

The European Court of Justice issues its preliminary ruling holding that restricting the sale of European foreign satellite decoder cards is “contrary to the freedom to provide services” (Football Association Premier League)
Max Findlay Associates
Little, large and not proven* The big story for British sports fans has been the recent ruling by the Court of Justice of the European Union (ECJ) in the FA Premier League / Karen Murphy case. Effectively, the ECJ has said that British viewers can buy live English Premier League football (...)

The European Court of Justice validates exclusive rights for broadcasting of sports events provided they do not grant absolute territorial exclusivity (Football Association Premier League)
Vogel & Vogel
The Football Association Premier League (FAPL), holder of the television broadcasting rights for the Premier League, the leading professional football league competition for football clubs in England, grants exclusive licences in respect of those broadcasting rights to one TV channel per (...)

The European Court of Justice renders its judgment on licensing of satellite broadcasting holding that national law blocking the importation of foreign decoders is contrary to freedom to provide services (Football Association Premier League)
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (Brussels)
The Court of Justice Speaks On Licensing Of Satellite Broadcasting* On October 4, the European Court of Justice rendered its judgment in Premier League v QC Leisure. For a discussion of the background to the case and the opinion of the Advocate General see here. The Court concludes that (...)

The Argentinian Secretariat of National Commerce holds a leading sports broadcaster’s contractual conditions anti-competitive under national legislation and awards a cable television provider interim injunctive relief (Telecentro/Fox Sports Latina America)
Complainant Telecentro S.A., a cable television provider, was awarded interim injunctive relief by the Secretariat of National Commerce acting on findings from the national competition authority that Fox Sports Latin America S.A. breached art. 2 of the Ley 25.156 on the protection of (...)

The U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota declares that locking out employees, who have stopped engaging in collective bargaining and are no longer represented by the union, is not protected under the nonstatutory labor exemption to antitrust scrutiny in the market for professional football players (Brady/NFL)
Pepper Hamilton (Philadelphia)
The recent National Football League (NFL) lockout has put a spotlight on federal antitrust law. After failed negotiations between the NFL and the players’ union (the National Football League Players Association, or NFLPA), on March 11, 2011 – the day that the most recent collective bargaining (...)

A US Court of Appeals vacates a lower court’s injunction lifting football players’ lockout in an antitrust suit (NFL)
Wolters Kluwer (Riverwoods)
Injunction Against NFL Lockout Improperly Granted in Players’ Antitrust Suit* Earlier today, the U.S. Court of Appeals in St. Louis vacated an injunction lifting the National Football League’s "lockout" of its players. The divided appellate court, just five days after hearing oral argument on (...)

The Swedish Competition Authority states that the rules of the automobile sports federation need to be amended (Automobile sports federation)
European Commission
Sweden: More Competition needed in Organization of Motor Racing Events* ”Holders of a racing or steward licence from the Swedish Automobile Sports Federation should be able to compete or be a steward in races organized by clubs that are not affiliated to the Federation. It is therefore (...)

The Romanian Competition Authority accepts commitments of the national football federation in relation to the joint selling of the media rights (Federația Română de Fotbal / Liga Profesionistă de Fotbal din România)
University of Technology (Tallinn)
On 19 April 2011 the Romanian Competition Authority (CC) accepted the commitments proposed by the Romanian Football Federation (FRF) and, one of its members, the Romanian Professional Football League (LPF) in relation to the joint selling of the media rights and thus closed its investigation (...)

The ECJ Advocate General Kokott renders her opinion holding that the principle of exhaustion applies to the transmission of live football matches in the same way as to physical products (Football Association Premier League)
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (Brussels)
UK Pubs And Greek Decoders – The Implications Of The Premier League Case For The Dissemination Of Digital Content* The European Court of Justice is expected to render its judgment in Premier League v QC Leisure in the next few months. At the heart of the case, lies the question whether (...)

The ECJ Advocate General Kokott renders her opinion holding that the principle of exhaustion applies to the transmission of live football matches in the same way as to physical products (Football Association Premier League)
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (Brussels)
UK Pubs And Greek Decoders – The Implications Of The Premier League Case For The Dissemination Of Digital Content* The European Court of Justice is expected to render its judgment in Premier League v QC Leisure in the next few months. At the heart of the case, lies the question whether (...)

The ECJ Advocate General Kokott renders her opinion holding that the principle of exhaustion applies to the transmission of live football matches in the same way as to physical products (Football Association Premier League)
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (Brussels)
UK Pubs And Greek Decoders – The Implications Of The Premier League Case For The Dissemination Of Digital Content* The European Court of Justice is expected to render its judgment in Premier League v QC Leisure in the next few months. At the heart of the case, lies the question whether (...)

The ECJ Advocate General Kokott renders her opinion holding that the principle of exhaustion applies to the transmission of live football matches in the same way as to physical products (Football Association Premier League)
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (Brussels)
UK Pubs And Greek Decoders – The Implications Of The Premier League Case For The Dissemination Of Digital Content* The European Court of Justice is expected to render its judgment in Premier League v QC Leisure in the next few months. At the heart of the case, lies the question whether (...)

The ECJ Advocate General Kokott considers that territorial exclusivity agreements relating to the transmission of live football matches are contrary to European Union law (Football Association Premier League)
Wiggin (London)
I. Background The Football Association Premier League (“FAPL”) is the governing body of English Premier League football. Every year FAPL organises a competition in which 20 member clubs play against each other. FAPL is authorised by its members to license broadcasters to provide audiovisual (...)

The ECJ Advocate General Kokott considers that territorial exclusivity agreements relating to the transmission of live football matches are contrary to European Union law (Football Association Premier League)
Wiggin (London)
I. Background The Football Association Premier League (“FAPL”) is the governing body of English Premier League football. Every year FAPL organises a competition in which 20 member clubs play against each other. FAPL is authorised by its members to license broadcasters to provide audiovisual (...)

The ECJ Advocate General Kokott considers that territorial exclusivity agreements relating to the transmission of live football matches are contrary to European Union law (Football Association Premier League)
Wiggin (London)
I. Background The Football Association Premier League (“FAPL”) is the governing body of English Premier League football. Every year FAPL organises a competition in which 20 member clubs play against each other. FAPL is authorised by its members to license broadcasters to provide audiovisual (...)

The ECJ Advocate General Kokott considers that territorial exclusivity agreements relating to the transmission of live football matches are contrary to European Union law (Football Association Premier League)
Wiggin (London)
I. Background The Football Association Premier League (“FAPL”) is the governing body of English Premier League football. Every year FAPL organises a competition in which 20 member clubs play against each other. FAPL is authorised by its members to license broadcasters to provide audiovisual (...)

The ECJ Advocate General Kokott considers that territorial exclusivity agreements relating to the transmission of live football matches are contrary to European Union law (Football Association Premier League)
Wiggin (London)
I. Background The Football Association Premier League (“FAPL”) is the governing body of English Premier League football. Every year FAPL organises a competition in which 20 member clubs play against each other. FAPL is authorised by its members to license broadcasters to provide audiovisual (...)

The ECJ Advocate General Kokott considers that territorial exclusivity agreements relating to the transmission of live football matches are contrary to European Union law (Football Association Premier League)
Wiggin (London)
I. Background The Football Association Premier League (“FAPL”) is the governing body of English Premier League football. Every year FAPL organises a competition in which 20 member clubs play against each other. FAPL is authorised by its members to license broadcasters to provide audiovisual (...)

The US Supreme Court holds that teams of the national football league engaged in concerted practices (NFL)
Stanford University - Stanford Law School
U.S. Supreme Court holds licensing activities of NFL teams were joint conduct subject to § 1 Sherman Act* On 24 May 2010 the U.S. Supreme Court held that teams of the National Football League (“NFL”) engaged in concerted action subject to Section 1 Sherman Act when licensing their intellectual (...)

The US Supreme Court rejects special sports league exemption from antitrust scrutiny adopting a narrow view of Copperweld immunity (American Needle / National Football League)
Jones Day (New York)
The U.S. Supreme Court adopts a narrow view of Copperweld immunity in American Needle, Inc. v. National Football League Section 1 of the Sherman Antitrust Act is, in important ways, extraordinary in its simplicity. It broadly prohibits all agreements—“[e]very contract, combination . . . or (...)

The US Supreme Court reverses the lower court’s decisions addressing the issue of single entity notion under antitrust law (American Needle / National Football League)
University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia)
American Needle, Inc. v. National Football League* In American Needle, Inc. v. National Football League, 130 S.Ct. 2201 (2010), the Supreme Court held that the NFL acting through its incorporated subsidiary NFL Properties, Inc. (NFLP) was not a single entity but rather a combination of its 32 (...)

The US Supreme Court finds that a football league and its members should not be treated as a single entity (American Needle / National Football League)
Tesoro
American professional sports associations such as the National Basketball Association (NBA), the National Football League (NFL), the National Hockey League (NHL), and the Major League Baseball (MLB) generate significant economic activity. In 2010, their combined revenue exceeded $21 billion and (...)

The US Supreme Court applies functional test to determine whether joint venture activity triggers antitrust liability (American Needle / National Football League)
White & Case (New York)
Introduction Section 1 of the Sherman Act outlaws contracts, combinations and conspiracies that unreasonably restrain trade. Therefore, to establish liability under Section 1, it is necessary to show a plurality of actors in agreement; there can be no contract, combination or conspiracy with (...)

The Portuguese Supreme Court dismisses claims for damages in the football broadcasting rights case on the basis of EU competition provisions (Vitória Sport Club and Federação Portuguesa de Futebol / Radiotelevisão Portuguesa)
Eduardo Paz Ferreira & Associados
In a case that goes back to a football game held in 1997, and in a rare example of private enforcement of competition law in Portugal, the claims for damages by a Portuguese football club, supported by the Portuguese Football Federation, were finally dismissed in the last instance. Vitoria (...)

The Spanish CNC issues a resolution holding that exclusivity agreements for the sale of broadcasting rights for national football championship exceeding three seasons are anticompetitive (Sogecable, AVS)
Garrigues (Brussels)
Sale of Football TV Rights: One size fits all?* The Spanish NCA adopted last week its long-awaited decision with regards to the sale of television rights for the national football championship. The essence of its decision is simple: agreements concluded between football clubs and television (...)

The Spanish Competition Commission limits the duration of contracts concluded between broadcasters and football clubs for the acquisition and resale of football broadcasting rights for Spanish League and Cup matches, as well as a pooling agreement between broadcasters, to three years (AVS, Mediapro, Sogecable y Clubs de Fútbol de 1 y 2 División)
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (Brussels)
On April 14, 2010, the Council of the Spanish Competition Commission (the “CNC”) adopted a decision in a case against several broadcasters operating in the markets for the acquisition and resale of football broadcasting rights for Spanish League and Cup matches, and football clubs of the 1st and (...)

The Italian Competition Authority fines a sport association for having impeded individual sale of broadcasting rights (Italian Football Association)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 16 December 2009, the Italian Competition Authority (ICA) ruled that the Italian Football Association (“IFA”) had infringed Article 101 TFEU by implementing an agreement impeding the sale by individual football clubs of television broadcasting rights relating to Second Division Championship (...)

The French Competition Authority fines € 6.9 M a football association and a rights for sports management agency for anticompetitive agreements on the market for audiovisual rights (FFF-Sportfive)
Credit Agricole
Following its 2001 and 2004 decisions to investigate competition in the field of management of professional football rights, the Autorité de la concurrence imposed a fine of 6.9 million € on the Fédération Française du football (FFF), the French football association, and Sportfive for their (...)

A German Court rejects complaint of sport associations (German Football League, Association of Leagues)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
In a recently published decision of 16 September 2009, the Higher Regional Court of Düsseldorf rejected a legal action brought by the German Football League (“DFL”) and the Association of Leagues against the German Federal Cartel Office (“FCO”). In April 2008, the DFL had presented to the FCO a (...)

The UK High Court of Justice rules collective and exclusive sports rights permissible in Art. 81/101 EC case (BAGS / AMRAC, “Turf TV”)
Oxera
,
Oxera
In Bookmakers’ Afternoon Greyhound Services Ltd v Amalgamated Racing Ltd (2008)(BAGS v AMRAC), the UK High Court dismissed allegations of anti-competitive conduct by a new sports broadcaster part-owned by racecourses. BAGS v AMRAC is one of the significant private actions in recent years (...)

The UK Court of Appeal upholds a judgment that a co-operative JV between certain racecourse owners for the supply of images, sound and data to licensed betting offices in respect of horse races held at their racecourses does not infringe Art. 81 EC (Bookmakers’ Afternoon Greyhound Services / Amalgamated Racing)
European Commission - DG COMP
The Court of Appeal of England & Wales has upheld a High Court judgment that a co-operative joint venture between certain racecourse owners for the supply of images, sound and data to licensed betting offices in the United Kingdom in respect of horse races held at their racecourses is not (...)

The Serbian Competition Authority prosecutes a sport federation for mandating its athletes to use a single brand of protective wear (Karate Federation of Serbia and BMA Trading)
University of Technology (Tallinn)
Summary Serbian Competition Authority found anticompetitive the agreement between the Karate Federation of Serbia (KFS) and an exclusive importer of Adidas protective wear that mandated KFS athletes to use exclusively Adidas wear during the KFS-organized competitions. The agreement was (...)

The Polish Supreme Court confirms the NCA’s decision on illegality of an "English clause" on the market for football broadcasting rights (Canal + / Polski Związek Piłki Nożnej)
Greenberg Traurig Grzesiak (Warsaw)
,
PKN Orlen
On 7 January 2009, the Polish Supreme Court issued a long awaited judgement concerning an “English clause“ in an agreement between pay TV operator (Canal +) and a Polish football association, Polski Związek Piłki Nożnej ("the PFA"), which was assessed by the President of the Office of Competition (...)

The US Second Circuit Court of Appeals allows an association to hold the exclusive right to license intellectual property, finding it a reasonable restraint of trade when licensing the logos of professional baseball teams (MLB Properties/Salvino)
Weil, Gotshal & Manges (New York)
In American Needle v. National Football League and Major League Baseball Properties v. Salvino, the Seventh and Second Circuits, respectively, rejected antitrust challenges to professional sports league licensing arrangements. These decisions demonstrate the difficulties faced by antitrust (...)

The English High Court dismisses price fixing claim by bookmakers relating to collective exclusive broadcasting Licences (Bookmakers Afternoon Greyhound Services / Amalgamated Racing)
Shoosmiths (Thames Valley)
Background 1. The British horseracing industry is worth over £830 million annually. Since 1987, licensed betting offices («LBOs») have been allowed to show live coverage of racing from courses across the UK and Ireland. In 1987, the four largest British bookmakers founded Satellite Information (...)

The German Federal Cartel Office rules that the proposals on the centralized marketing of broadcasting rights football matches are insufficiently competitive (Bundesliga)
White & Case (Hambourg)
In a statement dated 24 July 2008, which is not a formal decision, the German Federal Cartel Office (FCO) has informed the German Football League (DFL) that in its current form the model, which DFL proposes for marketing TV broadcasting rights for the football league, does not meet competition (...)

The High Court of England and Wales refers questions to the ECJ regarding whether the prohibition on the use of foreign satellite decoder equipment and cards in the UK infringes, inter alia, Art. 81 EC (Football Association Premier League / QC Leisure)
European Commission - DG COMP
In two separate cases involving the same claimant, the High Court of England and Wales has referred questions to the European Court of Justice regarding whether the prohibition on the use of foreign satellite decoder equipment and cards in the UK infringes, inter alia, Article 81 EC. (...)

The Italian Competition Authority closes the investigations for violations of Art. 81 and 82 EC in the equestrian sports market following commitments proposed by a sport federation (Federazione Italiana Sport Equestri)
Ashurst
,
Legance - Studio Legale Associato
,
Banca d’Italia (Italian Central Bank)
Background On 15 May 2008, the Italian Competition Authority (Autorità Garante della Concorrenza e del Mercato) closed the investigation launched in July 2007 for possible violations of Article 81 and/or 82 EC by the Italian Equestrian Sports Federation (Federazione Italiana Sport Equestri) (...)

The Danish public prosecutor negotiates a fine with an association of suppliers of nautical equipment, its director and chairman for price agreements and retail price maintenance (Nautisk Udstyr)
Danish Competition and Consumer Authority (Copenhagen)
On the 20 April 2008, the association Nautisk Udstyr ApS, accepted to pay a fine of DKK 400,000 (EUR 53,000) for infringing the Danish Competition Act. The association’s director and Chairman also each accepted a personal fine of DKK 25,000 (EUR 3,000) for their involvement. The investigation (...)

The Austrian Federal Competition Authority opens the market for broadcasting rights of skiing events (ORF- ÖSV, ’Broadcasting rights of skiing events’)
DORDA
,
KIEHL Kanzlei für Wirtschaftsrecht
Background In three famous decisions the European Commission decided that the central marketing of the media rights of the Football Premier League may give rise to horizontal and vertical competition concerns.. Particularly, the Commission stressed that media rights should be awarded according (...)

The Italian Competition Authority starts investigation in the market of sport motoring for alleged abuses of Art. 81 and/or 82 EC (Automobile Club d’Italia)
National University of Singapore
On 22 November 2007, the Italian Competition Authority ( hereinafter, also the “Authority”) opened proceedings in the sector of sport motoring for alleged breach of article 81 and/or 82 of the European Treaty. Investigation started against ACI (“Automobile Club d’Italia”, public entity and (...)

The German Federal Cartel Office tolerates cooperation between Pay-TV operators for sport events broadcasting (Premiere / Arena - Bundesliga)
McDermott Will & Emery (Düsseldorf)
Background Premiere AG (“Premiere”) is the leading German Pay-TV operator. One of the main features of Premiere’s program are live broadcastings of football events. Over the last years, this included in particular broadcastings of the German Bundesliga (football league). However, in September (...)

The Polish Competition Court confirms the NCA’s decision finding that an "English clause" in an agreement between a pay-TV operator and a football association restricted competition (Polish Football Association/Canal+)
Greenberg Traurig Grzesiak (Warsaw)
The Polish Competition Court confirms the NCA’s decision finding that an "English clause" in an agreement between a pay-TV operator and a football association restricted competition, but halves a 440 000 PLN (110 000 EUR ) fine on the football association by upholding a 7.37 million PLN (1.84 (...)

The French Competition Authority sanctions 22 companies for having entered into an agreement on the sector of cycle and cycle products distribution (Master Cycle, Bouticycles)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Press Release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. Cycle and cycle products distribution: The Conseil de la concurrence imposes fine of 580 000 euros on a national scale agreement involving 22 companies.* Following a referral by the Minister of Economy on (...)

A Hungarian Court applies for the first time both EC and national competition law while sanctioning an exclusive ticketing agreement (Budapest Sports Stadium)
bpv Jadi Nemeth Attorneys
This case was among the first in which EC competition law was applied by a Hungarian court. In October 2006 the Metropolitan Court of Budapest had rejected the appeals of the plaintiffs, and thus confirmed the legal assessment of the decision of the Competition Council of the Hungarian (...)

The Cypriot Competition Authority finds that regulations imposed by the Cyprus Football Federation regarding the transfer of players’ contracts do not violate competition law (Cypriot Football Players Association, Costas Makelos, Angelos Euthimiou)
Agora Trading
The complaint The Cypriot Commission for the Protection of Competition (hereinafter: the “Commission”) received a complaint by the Cypriot Football Players Association(hereinafter: the “CFPA”) and two professional football players, Costas Makelos and Angelos Euthimiou, considering the regulations (...)

The Brussels Court of Appeal upholds the NCA decision holding that the exclusive joint selling of football television rights is not infringing Art. 81.1 EC (Jupiler League - Belgacom Skynet)
Leuven University
,
VMMa
Relevant facts On 9 May 2005, the LBV, a joint selling body with the exclusive right to sell TV broadcasting rights of the Jupiler League on behalf of the participating football clubs, had awarded all the packages of rights to Belgacom Skynet. Telenet, Belgacom’s competitor on the Belgian (...)

The Polish Competition Authority fines the pay-TV operator and a football association for exclusive broadcasting rights (Canal+/Polish Football Association)
Greenberg Traurig Grzesiak (Warsaw)
,
Adwokatura Polska
The President of the Office for Competition and Consumer Protection (the “OCCP”) imposed by decision dated 29 May 2006 (No. DOK2-410/2/05/SCH) fines of almost PLN 8 million (EUR 2 million) on the Polish Football Association (PZPN) and Canal+ (pay TV operator). The OCCP assessed that the (...)

The Polish NCA fines the national football association and a TV operator for an abusive preferential renewal clause in a broadcasting licence agreement (Canal+/Polish Football Association)
French National Research Agency (ANR)
President’s of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection (Prezydent Urzedu Ochrony Konkurencji i Konsumentów), 29 May 2006, Decision n° DOK-49/06, concerning a preferential renewal clause contained in the licence agreement for broadcasting of football league matches concluded between (...)

The Belgian Competition Council rejects a complaint on alleged discriminatory licensing practices from the national football union (URBSFA)
Smartflats
,
Liège University - IEJE
The Parties SA Tilleur-Liège is a company which main activity was the management of a football team (Tilleur-Liège). It went in bankruptcy in 2004. The URBSFA (Union Royale Belge des Sociétés Football Association) is responsible for the organization of football events in Belgium. It holds (...)

The UK High Court holds abusive a threat to refuse to supply pre-race data constituting an essential facility (Attheraces v. The British Horseracing Board)
Reckitt Benckiser Group
Background The British Horseracing Board (“BHB”) plays a central role in organising British horseracing. It maintains a large database which includes detailed “pre-race data” regarding forthcoming fixtures. Attheraces (“ATR”) obtained such pre-race data from BHB (via an intermediary) and (...)

The Italian National Competition Authority fines the Italian Football Association for the price-fixing of tickets for the so-called “play-off” and “play-out” games (Lega Calcio - Prezzi Biglietti Play-Off)
London School of Economics
The Lega Nazionale Professionisti (the Italian Football Association, hereinafter, “the Lega”) gathers together Italian football clubs registered to play in the First and Second Division championships (called Serie A and Serie B), as well as other minor championships involving the same teams. 22 (...)

The Hungarian Competition Authority finds an exclusivity clause has an effect on trade between member States and may distort competition in the sport events sector (Aréna, Multimédia Light and Sound, Ticketpro)
Hogan Lovells
,
Background Aréna Üzemelteto Rt. received the right from the Hungarian State to be the controlling company of the Budapest Sports Stadium (hereinafter: the Budapest Sports Stadium). Aréna was, at the time of the investigation, an affiliate of the French Bouygues group. Multimédia Light and Sound (...)

The Hungarian Competition Authority concludes that the agreements offered by the Budapest Sports Stadium are capable of distorting competition and have the potential of infringing Art. 81 EC (Arena Uzemelteto / Multimedia Light and Sound / Ticketpro)
KNP Law Nagy Koppany Varga & Partners
The Budapest Sports Arena (BSA), a 12,000 seating capacity, state of the art, multifunctional sports and entertainment complex was first opened to the public in March 2003. It was built on the place of the Budapest Sports Hall, which was completely destroyed in a devastating fire five years (...)

The Belgian Competition Council concludes that the joint selling of media rights is in line with the decision practice of the EC Commission and is not infringing Art. 81(1) EC (Jupiler League - Belgacom Skynet)
Leuven University
,
Leuven University
On 29 July 2005 the Belgian Competition Council approved the award of TV broadcasting rights by the Liga Beroepsvoetbal (“LBV”) to Belgacom Skynet, since there was no infringement of Art. 81 EC. The Council has found that the broadcasting rights of matches of the Belgian first (and second) (...)

The UK Competition Appeal Tribunal confirms that indirect contact between competing retailers via a mutual supplier can amount to concerted practices and that recommended retail prices may lead to price fixing (Replica Football Kit)
British Institute of International and Comparative Law
This case comment falls in two parts : Part I comments upon the judgment on liability, and Part II comments upon the judgment on penalty. PART I: JUDGMENT ON LIABILITY THE PARTIES Appellants: JJB Sports PLC (“JJB”) and Allsports Limited (“Allsports”). Respondent: The Office of Fair Trading (...)

The European Commission adopts its first commitment decision pursuant to Article 9 of Regulation 1/2003 concerning joint selling of German football media rights (Bundesliga)
European Commission - DG COMP
"Joint selling of Bundesliga media rights — first Commission decision pursuant to Article 9 of Regulation 1/2003"* Introduction On 19 January 2005 the Commission adopted the first commitment decision pursuant to Article 9 of Regulation 1/2003. In case COMP/C-2/37.214 — Joint selling of the (...)

The European Commission adopts a formal decision exempting the joint selling of the media rights of an international football tournament (UEFA Champions League)
European Commission - DG COMP
"Football: joint selling of media rights"* 1. Introduction On 23 July 2003, the Commission adopted a formal decision exempting the joint selling of the media rights of the UEFA Champions League. The Commission concluded that the joint selling of the TV, internet and mobile telephone content (...)

The Netherlands Competition Authority decides following the notification of the scheme for the collective sale of broadcasting rights in connection with an application for exemption to allow the collective trading rights to broadcast summaries (Eredivisie)
Netherlands Authority for Consumers & Markets (The Hague)
NMa Prohibits Joint Trading of Rights to Live Broadcasting of Premier Division Football Matches* As of the start of the football season 2003-2004, the professional football organisations may no longer jointly sell rights to the live broadcasting of football matches, as they now do through (...)

The U.S. Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals applies a “quick look” rule of reason analysis and ultimately rejects an association-wide salary cap imposed on a position within each member organization in the college basketball industry (Law/NCAA)
Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld (Dallas)
The U.S. Tenth Circuit struck down an NCAA-wide salary cap imposed on the earnings of “restricted-earnings” coaches as an unreasonable restraint of trade. Instead of applying per se illegality to a price-fixing agreement, the Court determined that a “quick look” rule of reason was more appropriate (...)

The US Court of appeals devotes prevailing application of labor law in labor practices that restrain competition in sports (National Basketball Association v. L Williams)
Infinitum Legal Services
,
Infinitum Legal Services (Istanbul)
The NBA v. Williams case (45 F.3d 684 (2d Cir. 1995), by the US court of Appeals is one of the rare cases in which the lawfulness of the practice of ‘multiemployer bargaining’, traditionally governed by labor law, challenged fundamental competition law principles, stemming from the Sherman Act (...)

The US Supreme Court prohibits an association from imposing conditions on its members’ televised events, finding that such conditions violate antitrust laws in the market for college football (NCAA/Bd. of Regents of the Univ. of Okla.)
Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld (Dallas)
The U.S. Supreme Court declared that the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s (“NCAA”) restrictions on televised college football games should be assessed under a rule of reason analysis, but still ultimately found that the limitations violate the Sherman Act. The Court refused to apply a (...)

The US Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals affirms a jury’s determination that an agreement requiring association members to gain approval by vote from their fellow members before moving locations constitutes an unreasonable restraint of trade in the market for professional football teams and their home stadiums (LA Mem’l Coliseum Comm’n/NFL)
Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld (Dallas)
The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, applying a rule of reason analysis, affirmed a jury verdict that an agreement between NFL teams requiring a 2/3 vote before allowing one team to move within the home territory of another team violated the Sherman Act, Section 1. Rejecting the NFL’s arguments, (...)

The Italian Competition Authority opens proceedings in the market of football audiovisual rights for alleged violation of Art. 81 and/or 82 EC (Lega Calcio / Chievo Verona)
National University of Singapore
On April 2008, the Italian Competition Authority (hereinafter, also the “Authority”) launched an investigation in the market of football audiovisual rights in order to find out any possible infringements of article 81 and/or 82 of the EC Treaty. Party under investigation Investigations (...)

The Irish NCA assesses the prices and exclusive provisions of a major entertainment events tickets reseller on the basis of both national and EC competition laws (TicketMaster Ireland)
London School of Economics
The National Competition Authority has rejected allegations that TicketMaster (hereinafter “TicketMaster”) Ireland is abusing its dominant position through excessive pricing and that its exclusive contractual relations with certain promoters constitute infringements of Art 81 EC and its domestic (...)

Dominance

The EU Commission sends a statement of objections to the International Skating Union suspected to have breached EU antitrust rules (ISU)
European Commission - DG COMP
Antitrust: Commission sends Statement of Objections to International Skating Union on its eligibility rules* The European Commission has informed the International Skating Union (ISU) of its preliminary view that the ISU rules under which athletes face severe penalties for participation in (...)

The German Competition Authority approves marketing model for award of football championship rights from 2017/18 season onwards (DFL)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Bundeskartellamt approves marketing model for award of Bundesliga rights from 2017/18 football season onwards – DFL undertakes for first time to observe ’no single buyer’ rule* The German League Association and the German Football League (DFL) have submitted a commitment to the Bundeskartellamt (...)

The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit upholds that a college athletics association’s restrictions on compensation should be subject to antitrust scrutiny (O’Bannon / NCAA)
Constantine Cannon (New York)
NCCA Gains Ground Against Student-Athletes In Appeal Of O’Bannon Case* Last week, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled that the NCAA may restrict colleges from compensating student-athletes beyond the cost of attendance, handing the NCAA a partial victory in its (...)

The Belgian Competition Authority provisionally suspends an exclusivity clause of the general regulations of an international equestrian federation (FEI)
Belgian Competition Authority (Brussels)
The Competition College of the Belgian Competition Authority imposed on 27 July 2015 on the Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI) as a provisional measure the partial suspension with regard to the Global Champions League of the Exclusivity Clause in the article 113(4)-(6) of its General (...)

The Lisbon Court of Appeal upholds the decision of the Portuguese Competition Authority against a sport channels for abuse of dominance in the market of conditional-access premium sports TV channels (Sport TV)
Portuguese Competition Authority (Lisbon)
Portuguese Competition Authority’s decision against Sport TV confirmed by the Lisbon Court of Appeal* The Lisbon Court of Appeal confirmed the Portuguese Competition Authority’s (PCA) decision against Sport TV for abusing its dominant position in the market of conditional-access premium sports (...)

The Higher Regional Court of Munich holds that the arbitration clause used by the International Skating Union referring all challenges to the Court of Arbitration of Sport was in breach of German competition law (Pechstein)
Hogan Lovells (Munich)
,
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (Berlin)
I. The Facts In 2009 Ms. Claudia Pechstein, a successful German speed skater, was banned by the International Skating Union (ISU) from all skating competitions for two years. Ms. Pechstein had tested positive in a doping control that was held during the ISU skating world cup in Norway. The (...)

The French Competition Authority orders interim measures against a TV company on the exclusive rights for the broadcasting of Top 14 matches market (Canal Plus / beIN Sports)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Broadcasting rights for the French Rugby 1st Division Championship* Following a referral by beIN Sports, the Autorité de la concurrence suspends the agreement concluded between the French Rugby national League and Group Canal Plus which awarded the latter exclusive rights for the broadcasting (...)

The French Competition Authority makes legally binding the commitment of the holder of a legal monopoly over horserace bets placed in physical outlets, to separate its online horserace betting activity from its point of sale network (Pari Mutuel Urbain)
Ashurst (Milan)
French Competition Authority orders PMU to separate its online horserace betting activity from its physical point of sale network* On 25 February 2014, the French Competition Authority (“AdlC”) issued a decision (available only in French) making legally binding the commitment of Pari Mutuel (...)

The French Competition Authority fines an owner of sports newspapers for implementing eviction practices in sports press sector (Le 10Sport.com / Les Éditions Philippe Amaury)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Press Release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. The Autorité de la concurrence has fined the Groupe Amaury for having driven out of the market a new entrant in the sports press – Le 10Sport.com* The Autorité de la concurrence has fined Les Éditions Philippe (...)

The Portuguese Competition Authority imposes a fine of € 3.73 M on a TV operator for having abused its dominant position on the market for access to premium sports content (Sport TV)
University of Harvard - Law School
On 20 June 2013, the Portuguese Competition Authority (“PCA”) imposed a fine of € 3.73 million on Sport TV Portugal for having abused its dominant position on the market for access to premium sports content by signing discriminatory distribution agreements with pay- TV operators between (...)

The Finnish Market Court finds no error by the national competition authority in not investigating alleged abuse by national sports federation (Suomen Ampumaurheiluliitto)
University of Helsinki
The Finnish Market Court has found that a decision by the national Competition Authority to dismiss a complaint about a sports federation was appropriate. X, a Finnish shooting sports athlete, had filed a complaint (a request for investigation) with the Finnish Competition Authority, submitting (...)

The Competition Commission of India finds no abuse of dominance by the hockey regulator (Sh. Dhanraj Pillay)
King’s College (London)
Shortly after the BCCI case (In Re BCCI Case No. 61/2010), the Competition Commission of India (CCI) has taken another decision against a national sports federation. In Sh. Dhanraj Pillay and Others v. Hockey India (Case No. 73/2011) the central issue was Hockey India’s (HI) alleged abuse of its (...)

The Italian Competition Authority finds that the acquisition of exclusive pay-tv rights is not precluded by antitrust law (Sky Italia)
Ashurst (Milan)
Italian Competition Authority finds that Sky Italia did not abuse of its dominant position* On 23 April 2013 the Italian Competition Authority (“AGCM”) decided (the decision is only available in Italian) to close the proceedings against Sky Italia S.r.l. (“Sky Italia”) of The News Corporation Ltd. (...)

The Indian Competition Commission fines the board for control of cricket approximately USD 10 M for abuse of dominant position (BCCI)
University College London
The Competition Commission of India, in response to a complaint filed by Mr. Surinder Singh Barni, against the Board for Control of Cricket in India(BCCI) for abuse of dominant position with respect to professional league cricket tournament, has issued a cease and desist order against BCCI (...)

The French Competition Authority renders legally binding some commitments offered to solve competition concerns raised in the distribution of insurance products to golfers (Eurogolf / Fédération Française de Golf)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Press Release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. The Autorité de la concurrence makes the commitments proposed by the ’Fédération Française de Golf’ mandatory. Golf players (or licensees) may take out insurance of their choice, which may differ from that offered (...)

The Swedish Market Court annuls interim order prohibiting the ice hockey league association from boycotting players from north america’s hockey league (Svenska Hockeyligan)
European Commission
Sweden: The Competition Authority’s Interim Order prohibiting Hockeyligan from boycotting NHL Players annulled by Swedish Market Court* On 18 December 2012, the Swedish Market Court (the Court) has annulled the Swedish Competition Authority’s (SCA) interim order prohibiting the Swedish ice (...)

The US District Court for the District of Minnesota dismisses an antitrust complaint on the basis that copyright owners may exclude others from using even portions of their work in the market for footage of professional football games (Washington/NFL)
Loeb & Loeb (New York)
,
Loeb & Loeb (Los Angeles)
,
Loeb & Loeb (Los Angeles)
Plaintiffs Gene Washington, Diron Talbert, and Sean Lumpkin, former professional football players, brought a class action suit against the National Football League and a number of affiliated entities, including each of the 32 NFL teams, alleging that the NFL defendants, by constraining (...)

The Spanish Competition Commission fines a company and its subsidiary for abuse of dominant position in the market of resale of audiovisual retransmission of Spanish football clubs (Mediapro, Gol Tv)
Callol, Coca & Asociados (Madrid)
Mediapro holds the broadcasting rights for the Spanish first division league (Liga) and King’s Cup (Copa de S.M. el Rey) for 2009/2010 and subsequent seasons. Therefore Mediapro has a dominant position in the market for the resale of broadcasting rights. Furthermore, Mediapro is (...)

The Spanish Competition Authority fines a broadcasting company and its subsidiary for abusing their dominant position in the market for audiovisual retransmission rights of football matches (Mediapro and Gol TV)
Kim & Chang
The Spanish competition authority (CNC) has fined jointly MEDIAPRODUCCIÓN S.L. (MEDIAPRO) and its subsidiary GOL TV 500,000 Euros for abusing its dominant position in the market for audiovisual retransmission rights of football matches. The facts that have led to the decision of the CNC can be (...)

The Spanish Competition Authority fines the holder of football TV rights for abusing its dominant position in the resale of these rights and in the pay TV market (Mediapro)
CMS Albinana y Suarez de Lezo (Madrid)
Mediaproducción S.L. (Mediapro) is currently the holder of the audiovisual rights for the regular league and Copa del Rey (King’s Cup) football competitions (the Competitions) for all teams in the Spanish first and second divisions for the 2009/2010 and subsequent seasons. In May 2009 the CNC (...)

The Italian Antitrust Authority starts investigation against a media producer and distributor for infringement of art. 102 TFUE and national equivalent (R.T.I./Sky – Mondiali di Calcio)
Codacons
Sky Italia s.r.l. is controlled by News Corporation Ltd active on the media market, whose activity includes production and distribution of movies, tv show, newspaper, books and magazines’publication. (Reti Televisive Italiane) RTI S.p.A belongs to Mediaset Group, which controls the three main (...)

The Italian Competition Authority starts investigation in the market of football audiovisual rights for alleged infringement of Art. 102 TFEU (RTI/Sky)
National University of Singapore
On 3 November 2010, the Italian Competition Authority opened an investigation in the market of football audiovisual rights for an alleged abuse of dominant position, contrary to Article 102 TFEU (Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union). I. Parties of the Case SKY ITALIA (hereinafter, (...)

The Tribunal of Milan rejects a request for injunctive relief against the Italian soccer association for illegitimate award procedures of TV rights for live broadcast of soccer matches (Conto TV/Lega Calcio)
Italian Competition Authority
,
University Luiss Guido Carli - GRIF (Rome)
,
University Luiss Guido Carli - GRIF (Rome)
CONTO TV S.r.l. (CONTO TV) is a small broadcasting company operating satellite TV in Italy. LEGA CALCIO is the Italian Soccer Association, entrusted by the Italian law (Law no. 106/2007 and Legislative Decree n. 9/2008) with the task of selling soccer matches audio-television rights of its (...)

An Italian regional administrative tribunal annuls a decision from the NCA for ineffectiveness of the undertakings imposed to address the competition concerns raised on the market for broadcasting rights of football matches (Conto TV)
The Regional Administrative Tribunal for Lazio annuls a decision from the Italian Competition Authority for the ineffectiveness of the undertakings and forces the Authority to restart the proceedings and repeat the market test on the basis of the 287/1990 and 241/1990 laws and the EU Regulation (...)

An Italian Court of Appeal annuls its precedent injunctive relief against the soccer association for illegitimate award procedures of TV rights for live broadcasts of soccer matches (Conto TV/Lega Calcio)
Italian Competition Authority
,
University Luiss Guido Carli - GRIF (Rome)
,
University Luiss Guido Carli - GRIF (Rome)
Introduction CONTO TV S.r.l. (CONTO TV) is a small broadcasting company operating satellite TV in Italy. LEGA CALCIO is the Italian Soccer Association, entrusted by the Italian law with the task of selling soccer matches audio-television rights of its associates, Serie A and B clubs. On July (...)

The Polish President of the Office for Competition and Consumer Protection accepts commitments submitted by satellite pay-TV platform regarding the use of exclusive sports media rights (Cyfrowy Polsat)
Polish Competition Authority (Warsaw)
,
Office of Competition and Consumer Protection (OCCP)
Decision On 12 February 2010, the President of the Office for Competition and Consumer Protection (OCCP) issued a decision which rendered plausible that Cyfrowy Polsat (pay-TV operator) had abused its dominant position by selling rights for public broadcasting of Euro 2008 subject to acquire (...)

The Italian Milan Court of Appeal issues an injunctive relief against the national football league for illegitimate award procedures of TV rights for live broadcasts of soccer matches (Conto TV/Lega Calcio)
Italian Competition Authority
,
University Luiss Guido Carli - GRIF (Rome)
,
University Luiss Guido Carli - GRIF (Rome)
Introduction CONTO TV S.r.l. (CONTO TV) is a small broadcasting company operating satellite TV in Italy. LEGA CALCIO is the Italian Soccer Association, entrusted by the Italian law (Law n. 106/2007 and Legislative Decree n. 9/2008) with the task of selling soccer matches audio-television rights (...)

The Italian Competition Authority is investigating the sale of television rights for soccer matches ("Lega Calcio" - Procedure selettive lega nazionale professionisti campionati)
University of Turin
Since July 22, 2009 the Italian Competition Authority is investigating the sale of lucrative television rights to soccer matches in the country’s top league, Lega Calcio, because it suspects such rights have been packaged to benefit incumbent pay-TV operators and not viewers (Case n° A/418 of (...)

The Italian Antitrust Authority accepts commitments from the official federation operating in the market of sport motoring and closes proceedings without imposing sanctions (Gargano Corse/ACI)
National University of Singapore
On 11 June 2009, the Italian Competition Authority (hereinafter, also the "Authority") closed proceedings in the sport motoring market accepting the commitments presented by the official federation and without imposing fines. Legal Background Investigation had previously started against ACI (...)

A German district Court holds that the refusal to grant a horse riding licence can constitute an abuse of a dominant position within the meaning of Art. 82 EC (“The doped horse”)
Blomstein
Background and Decision On 22 January 2009, the District Court of Dortmund (Landgericht Dortmund) granted injunctive relief to a German show jumper who resided in the Netherlands and was an employee of a Dutch horse riding stable. He was also riding his own horses and was n° 13 of the global (...)

The Italian Competition Authority accepts commitments from the federation for the equestrian sport and closes proceedings for alleged infringement of Art. 81 and/or 82 EC without imposing fines (FISE)
National University of Singapore
On 15 May 2008, the Italian Competition Authority (hereinafter, also the “Authority” or “AGCM”) closed investigations in the market concerning the organization of equestrian sports events, without imposing sanctions and accepting the committments presented. Investigation started against FISE (...)

The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York finds that an association demanding its members to combine their websites into one unified website does not constitute an unreasonable restraint of trade in the hockey industry (Madison Square Garden/NHL)
Entwistle & Cappucci
,
Epstein Baker Green (Newark)
,
Ferro Labella & Zucker (New Jersey)
The Southern District of New York recently denied Madison Square Garden L.P.’s ("MSG") attempt to enjoin the National Hockey League (the "NHL") from transferring MSG’s Rangers team website to a server primarily run by the NHL. The Court found that seizing MSG’s website was not a naked restraint on (...)

A Belgian commercial court holds as abusive a refusal to let a team participate in important cycling races (GCA/ASO)
Arendt & Medernach (Luxembourg)
,
NautaDutilh (Luxembourg)
Factual background On 23 April 2007 the commercial court of Liège (“Tribunal de commerce”) handed down a decision in a case between the Swedish cycling team Green Cycle Associates (“GCA”) and Amaury Sport Organisation (“ASO”). ASO is a French undertaking that organises several major cycling events, (...)

The Spanish Competition Authority fines a bowling association € 8 000 for abuse against independent bowling clubs concerning audiovisual rights (Emisión de Partidos de Bolos)
London School of Economics
The Spanish Bowling Association (hereinafter, the “FEB”) is a non-profit association in charge of the organisation and the regulation of bowling tournaments in Spain. Participation in the different tournaments organised by the FEB requires a licence delivered by this association. Bowling can be (...)

The Italian competition authority closes proceedings for alleged breach of Art. 82 EC following commitments made by the undertaking on the audiovisual rights market (Mediaset - Diritti Calcistici II)
London School of Economics
Background and procedure The present case note concerns the follow-up of a decision to open proceedings adopted by the Italian NCA in March 2005 that was commented in a previous issue of e-Competitions (P. Ibañez Colomo, “ The Italian competition authority opens proceedings against Reti (...)

The Maltese Commission for Fair Trading takes interim measures in order to suspend restrictive practices in the transmission and retransmission of leading sport events sector (Melita Cable)
In terms of Article 15 of Maltese Competition Act (Chapter 379 of Laws of Malta, hereinafter referred to as ‘MCA’), the Director of the Office for Fair Trading (hereinafter referred to as ‘Director’) requested the Commission for Fair Trading (hereinafter referred to as ‘Commission’) to take interim (...)

The Belgian Competition Council fines the Association Sportive Automobile Francophone for an abuse of dominant position relating to sporting rules (ETE-KILT/ASAF)
Smartflats
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Liège University - IEJE
Background The present case was initiated by two Dunlop tires distributors which complained about alleged anti-competitive sporting regulations on the part of a Belgian sporting organisation in the field of kart racing. The “Association Sportive Automobile Francophone” (“ASAF”) is a non-profit (...)

The German Federal Court of Justice holds that the rights holder of the Bundesliga football matches did not abuse of its dominant position by asking a radio to pay a fee for live broadcasting (Ligaverband)
McDermott Will & Emery (Düsseldorf)
Background The plaintiff operates a local radio station in Hamburg. The defendant, the Ligaverband, holds the marketing rights for all football matches of the Bundesliga, the German football league. Until 2001, the plaintiff broadcasted during its regular programmes short live reports from (...)

The French Competition Authority accepts commitments to address competition concerns in the equine reproduction market (Haras nationaux)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Press Release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. The Conseil de la concurrence has accepted the commitments proposed by the "Haras Nationaux" and decided to close the legal proceedings. The “Haras Nationaux” have undertaken to introduce analytical accounting (...)

The Czech Competition Office condemns a major Czech winter sport centre for abuse of dominant position (Skiareal Spindleruv Mlyn)
Government of the Czech Republic
Czech Competition Office, 29 March 2005, Skiareal Spindleruv Mlyn, a.s. The Office for Protection of Competition of the Czech Republic (“the Office”) confirmed, on appeal, its previous decision in which it found that “Skiareal Spindleruv Mlyn, a.s.” (“Skiareal”), the operator of a major Czech winter (...)

The Italian competition authority opens proceedings for breach of Art. 82 EC alleging that purchasing of broadcasting rights for the football games may constitute an abuse (Reti Televisiva Italiana - Diritti calcistici)
London School of Economics
Reti Televisive Italiane S.p.A. (hereinafter, “RTI”) owns the licence for the broadcasting of three national-wide television channels, Canale 5, Italia 1 and Rete 4. RTI is a wholly owned subsidiary of Mediaset S.p.A. The latter is a subsidiary of the holding Fininvest S.p.A. During summer 2004 (...)

The Eleventh Circuit rules out prevailing of copyright and bases its analysis exclusively on competition law (Morris Communications vs. PGA Tour)
Infinitum Legal Services
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Infinitum Legal Services (Istanbul)
Over the last years, the relationship between sports and media has evolved in an unprecedented manner. Broadcasting packages now consist of many different rights such as highlights packages, mobile phone rights and Internet packages. Due to this significant enlargement in commercial sports (...)

The French Competition Authority hands down interim measures to address competition concerns regarding broadcasting rights for French First League football matches (Ligue de Football Professionnel)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Press Release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. Broadcasting rights for French First League football matches - the Conseil de la concurrence hands down interim measures.* On 18th November 2002, the company TPS submitted to the Conseil de la concurrence an (...)

The U.S. Appellate Court of Illinois, First District, Third Division reverses a trial court’s dismissal of antitrust claims after finding causes of action under theories of monopoly leveraging or the essential facilities doctrine in the market for professional hockey in Chicago (Weinberg/Chicago Blackhawk Hockey Team)
Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld (Dallas)
The U.S. Appellate Court of Illinois reversed and remanded the lower court’s dismissal of antitrust claims brought by Mark Weinberg and Blue Line Publishing Inc. (“Blue Line”) because the Blackhawks excluded Blue Line staff from their hockey games to impair Blue Line’s ability to provide a (...)

The U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals affirms a nominal jury verdict of $1 for illegal monopolization by a professional football league (USFL/NFL)
Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld (Dallas)
The U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a jury verdict awarding the U.S. Football League (“USFL”) only $1 in nominal damages against the National Football League (“NFL”) and agreed with the jury’s finding that the NFL did not engage in exclusionary conduct through its agreements with (...)

The US District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals remands a case due to the lower court’s provision of several incorrect jury instructions and failure to instruct on the “essential facilities” doctrine in a case affecting the market for major-league professional football (Hecht/Pro Football)
Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld (Dallas)
The U.S. District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals remanded a jury verdict in a case between a potential franchisor and the operator of the Washington Redskins football team because the lower court improperly instructed the jury on a number of issues. This Court determined that the lower (...)

Mergers

The UK OFT clears acquisition in the broadcasting sector (BT / ESPN)
DLA Piper
The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has cleared British Telecoms plc’s (BT) proposed acquisition of ESPN Global Ltd (ESPN), despite finding that the failing firm defence was not fulfilled. Factual Background ESPN was a wholly owned subsidiary of the US based television sports broadcaster ESPN (...)

The Dutch Competition Authority approves under strict conditions an acquisition of a retail service organization by its competitor (Intres / Euretco Holding)
VVGB
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VVGB
On the 27 of June 2012, the Dutch Competition Authority approved under strict conditions the acquisition of Intres B.V. by Euretco Holding B.V.. I. The Parties The Dutch undertaking Euretco Holding B.V., which is part of Avedon Capital Partners The Dutch undertaking Intres B.V. II. Facts (...)

The Brussels Court of Appeal confirms Competition Council’s decision amending condition imposed on cable network operator’s acquisition of pay-TV provider (Telenet / Canal+)
Van Bael & Bellis
In a judgment of 17 May 2011, the Brussels Court of Appeal confirmed the Belgian Competition Council’s decision of 29 November 2010 amending a condition that had been imposed in 2003 on cable network operator Telenet’s acquisition of pay-TV provider Canal+. The condition in question (...)

The Spanish Competition Authority clears in phase II a merger in the sports media rights sector subject to third party access to football broadcasting rights and limitation on the contracts’ length (Sogecable/AVS)
PwC (Madrid)
The operation The transaction involved Sogecable SA acquiring sole control over Audiovisual Sport SL (AVS). AVS was jointly controlled by Sogecable (80%) and TVC (20%). TVC had veto rights over certain strategic decisions, whose approval required 85% of the equity. The transaction involved (...)

The European Commission approves, subject to divestiture, an acquisition in the motor sports sector (CVC/SLEC)
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European Commission - DG COMP
"Mergers — Main developments between 1 January and 30 April 2006"* On 31 January 2006 CVC notified its proposal to acquire sole control of SLEC. SLEC is a holding company owning all the rights in the Formula One Group. CVC is already active in the field of motor sports through its subsidiary (...)

The EU Commission conditionally clears a merger in the winter sports goods manufacturing and selling (Amer / Salomon)
,
European Commission - DG COMP
"Merger Control: Main Developments between 1 September and 31 December 2005"* On 12 October the Commission approved, subject to conditions, the proposed acquisition by Amer Group of the Salomon business segment of Germany’s Adidas-Salomon AG. Amer had entered into an agreement to acquire the (...)

The Spanish Competition Authority clears in phase II with multiple behavioural remedies a merger in the TV sector, the Council of Ministries having established the definitive set of remedies (Sogecable/Vía Digita)
PwC (Madrid)
The operation The merger involved Sogecable’s acquisition of DTS, which operated the pay TV platform Vía Digital. The merger would also increase Sogecable’s stake in AVS to 80%. Sogecable is a pay TV operator with activities in Spain through its subsidiaries Canal+ España (analogical pay TV) and (...)

The European Commission authorizes, subject to remedies, the participation of UK Broadcaster in the pay-tv operator in Germany (BSkyB/KirchPayTV)
European Commission - DG COMP
"The Commission’s assessment of the participation of BSkyB in the pay-tv operator in germany"* Pay-TV KirchPayTV has a virtual monopoly on the German pay-TV market, although with a loss making business. BSkyB adds a very successful pay-TV company, with experience of digital interactive TV (...)

State Aids

The European Commission finds a measure not to constitute State aid because the services provided occurs at a local level and is thus unlikely to attract customers from other member States to any meaningful degree (Community Amateur Sports Clubs)
College of Europe (Bruges)
SA.38208: Member-owned golf clubs, UK* At the end of April, the European Commission announced that seven measures were found not to constitute State aid because they could not be reasonably expected to affect cross-border trade. The finding of no affectation of trade is rare. That seven (...)

The European Commission finds a measure helping an outdoor training centre not to constitute State aid for lack of affectation of interstate trade, based on the local origin of users (Glenmore Lodge)
College of Europe (Bruges)
SA.37963: Glenmore Lodge, UK* At the end of April, the European Commission announced that seven measures were found not to constitute State aid because they could not be reasonably expected to affect cross-border trade. The finding of no affectation of trade is rare. That seven measures were (...)

The European Commission applies for the first time the General Block Exemption Regulation to sport infrastructures and holds that public funding of local sport infrastructures may constitute State aid (Kristall Bäder)
College of Europe (Bruges)
The First Application of the New GBER to Sport Infrastructure* Public funding of local sport infrastructure may constitute State aid. The granting of a concession contract for the construction and/or operation of the infrastructure may not exclude State aid for the concessionaire. Measures (...)

The EU Commission decides to consider the aid for renewing an ice arena in the municipality of Heerenveen to be compatible with the internal market since it served a policy objective of common interest (Thialf)
College of Europe (Bruges)
Article published on Lexxion State Aid Blog Competitive Elements in the Selection of Operators of Sports Infrastructure May not Be Enough to Eliminate State Aid* Main points The existence of an advantage cannot be excluded when the operator of an infrastructural facility is chosen through a (...)

The EU Commission finds that the state aid granted under the form of a fiscal measure implemented in breach of the standstill provision was compatible with the internal market (Hungarian Sport Donations)
College of Europe (Bruges)
Article published on Lexxion State Aid Blog Fiscal Leveraging: Donations and State Aid for Culture and Sports* Introduction In this blog I examine primarily a Dutch measure that supports cultural institutions by providing tax incentives to individuals and corporations to make donations to (...)

The Danish Competition Council finds that a municipality had granted unlawful aid to a national football club but it could not order its repayment because the aid was granted before the relevant State aid provisions in the Danish Competition Act came into force (The Farum Park Case)
Lexxion Publisher
On 22 June 2011 the Danish Competition Council issued a decision dealing with the question whether a Danish municipality (municipality of Furesø) had rented a Center for Sport and Culture to a local football club (FC Nordsjaelland) to a price below market price, leading to a grant of unlawful (...)

Procedures

The Italian Administrative Supreme Court upholds a tribunal judgment which partially annulled the Italian Competition Authority’s commitment decision for excess of power (Federazione Italiana Sport Equestri)
Bonelli Erede (Rome)
http://www.giustizia-amministrativa.it/webcds/ElencoSentenze.asp By its judgment delivered on 11 November 2009, the Italian Last Instance Administrative Court (“Consiglio di Stato”) upheld the judgment of the Court of First Instance (“Tar Lazio”) which had annulled the Italian Competition (...)

An Austrian Court declares behavioural commitments concerning broadcasting rights of the skiing world cup binding upon the public TV/radio provider and the Austrian skiing association (ÖRF / ÖSV)
European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
At the request of the Austrian Federal Competition Authority (Bundeswettbewerbs-ehörde ; “BWB”), the Vienna High Court in competition matters (Oberlandesgericht Wien als Kartellgericht), by (unpublished) order of 18 January 2008, in Case 26 Kt 42/06, adopted on the basis of Sec 27(1) of the (...)

The UK Court of Appeal rejects an allegation of unreasonable refusal to supply and unlawful discriminatory pricing (Attheraces/British Horseracing Board)
King’s College (London)
Introduction This note considers one of the two cases recently heard by the “ordinary” courts (the High Court and Court of Appeal) (See also A. Jones, The UK Hight Court rules on interim unjunction for an alleged unlawful refusal to supply in the pharmaceutical sector (AAH (...)

A US District Court holds that the rule granting exclusive rights to produce “A” horse shows within a 250 mile radius was exempt from antitrust liability pursuant to the doctrine of implied antitrust immunity under the Amateur Sports Act (JES Properties / USA Equestrian)
Sheppard Mullin (Los Angeles)
Horse Show Governing Body Mileage Rule Against Competing Horse Shows Is Subject to Summary Judgment On Ground Of Implied Antitrust Immunity* Plaintiffs, promoters of “A” Hunter-Jumper Competitions on the Florida Winter Horse Show circuit, filed an action against USA Equestrian, Inc., (“USAE”), (...)

The Austrian Supreme Court, acting as appellate Cartel Court, refuses to state whether or not an agreement falls within the scope of Art 81 EC (Oberste Gerichtshof)
Reidlinger Schatzmann Rechtsanwälte
,
Bpv Hügel (Vienna)
This case relates to the effects of the modernization of EC competition law on Austrian law. Sec. 8a of the Austrian Cartel Act empowers the Cartel Court upon formal request by a party to decide whether or not a specific set of facts falls within the scope of the Act. In the case at issue, the (...)

The French Competition Authority grants interim measures in the radio broadcasting rights market (GIE Sport libre, RMC info)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Press release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. Radio broadcasting rights for the football World Cup : the Conseil de la concurrence issues an interim measure against GIE [1] Sport libre* Following a referral by the company RMC Info, in a decision dated (...)

Regulations

The French Competition Authority accepts commitments offered by the incumbent holding a legal monopoly for the management of betting on horseracing (Betclic / PMU)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Press release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. The Autorité de la concurrence has obtained a commitment from the PMU, which will separate its online horserace betting activity from its network of points of sale under monopoly. With this decision, the (...)

The England and Wales Court of Appeal reinforces that market definition is a tool in competition analysis and substance must prevail over form (Talktalk Telecom / Office of Communications & Anor)
Blackstone Chambers
TalkTalk v Ofcom – the Court of Appeal stresses that market definition is a tool not an end* The Court of Appeal, in TalkTalk v Ofcom [2013] EWCA Civ 1318, recently gave an important reminder to all competition practitioners that market definitions are a tool rather than an end: what matters is (...)

The French Competition Authority receives commitments related to a mutualisation arrangement implemented by a company having the legal monopoly for the management of betting on horseracing (Betclic / PMU)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Press release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. PMU proposes commitments in order to distinguish its online horserace betting activities from those dealing with horserace betting in physical outlets* Following a complaint lodged by Betclic Everest Group (...)

The England and Wales High Court holds that even if the need for police services arises from a private event, policing does not constitute a special service when it is performed on land that is not owned, leased or controlled by the event organiser (Leeds United Football Club / The Chief Constable of West Yorkshire Police)
University of Cambridge
Regulating charges for special police services* Police services are generally performed for the benefit of the public at large and provided for out of public funds. However, the police also have the power (under s.25 of the Police Act 1996) to provide “special police services” for which they can (...)

The French Competition Authority issues an opinion pointing out some competition concerns in the newly opened online gambling markets (Opinion on online gambling)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
In an opinion issued seven months after the law entered into force, the French Competition Authority pointed out that some practices could give rise to anticompetitive issues: the betting right agreements signed between operators and sport event organizers should be regulated to ensure a fair (...)

The Romanian Competition Council adopts guidelines on commitments procedure and launches market test on commitments on the joint selling of commercial rights for football broadcasting (Romanian Football Federation and the Professional Football League)
European Commission
* Article published in ECN Brief 01/2011. The original title of this article appears below the e-Competitions title. Please note that the ECN is not the actual "author" of this case summary, but the mere source. As mentioned by the ECN : "The information provided by the ECN Brief is for (...)

The Spanish Competition Authority issues recommendations for guaranteeing effective competition in the acquisition of football broadcasting rights (Sogecable/AVS)
Compass Lexecon (Madrid)
On the decision C 102/06 - Sogecable / AVS related to the acquisition of AVS by Sogecable, the former Spanish Competition Tribunal stated the need to investigate the market for the acquisition and exploitation of football broadcasting rights in Spain, with the objective to determine if the (...)

The Spanish Competition Authorities investigate football broadcasting rights (Sogecable/Vía Digital - AVS I, II & III)
Callol, Coca & Asociados (Madrid)
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Callol, Coca & Asociados (Madrid)
Football is an important matter in Spain. Such importance is currently being illustrated by the mediatic and legal warfare between two media groups, Sogecable and Mediapro, which are fighting over the football league’s broadcasting rights. Each weekend, since the professional league season (...)

The French Competition Authority delivers a favourable opinion concerning the draft decree on the sale of broadcasting rights for sporting competitions (Minister of Economy)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Press Release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. The Conseil de la concurrence delivers a favourable opinion concerning the draft decree on the sale of broadcasting rights for sporting competitions.* Asked by the Minister of Economy to issue an opinion on a (...)

The European Commission launches sector inquiry into the sale of sports rights to Internet and 3G mobile operators
Cisco (Paris)
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"Using the instrument of sector-wide inquiries: inquiry into content for 3G services"* 1. The importance of a proactive approach in the antitrust field, especially regarding emerging markets DG Competition has launched a comprehensive rethinking of the use of its instruments. This has been (...)

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