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Spain: Regulators fine Telefónica and DTS over Football transmission rights

 |  July 28, 2015

Spain’s CNMC has decided to punish communications giant Telefónica and sport association DTS with combined fines of up to 15.5 million euros. The companies are accused of colluding to arrange favorable deals in acquiring, reselling and exploiting audiovisual transmission rights for the 2012/2013 and 2014/2015 seasons. The fines, of 10 million euros for Telefónica and 5.5 million for DTS, represent significantly less than 1% of their total sales volume for the year on 2014.

Back in August 2012 Telefónica and DTS reached a series of agreements for transmissions of the Canal+ Champions League and the Canal+ La Liga. Both agreements form part of a wide-reaching collusion between both companies which gave Telefónica privileges regarding the acquisition, resale and exploitation of audiovisual material from football matches. The agreements favoured Telefónica above other paid TV providers.

DTS is also accused of designing their tender processes in order to explicitly favor Telefónica, limiting competition among TV operators when presenting their offers.

Telefónica became the majority shareholder of DTS in April. Spain’s regulators had approved this merger with certain conditions, which included giving competitors full access to the network’s ‘Premium’ channels.

Source: CNMC

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