Spanish Court Finds Against Football Federation For Abusing Dominant Position

A Spanish court has condemned Spain’s football federation, the Real Federación Española de Fútbol (RFEF), for abusing its dominant position by excluding producer and broadcaster Mediapro from its tender for rights to Copa del Rey competition in 2019.

The judgement by the Madrid commercial court is the third consecutive against the RFEF in cases that all concerned Mediapro. The body had previously been condemned for excluding Mediapro from a competitive tender to provide Video Assistant Referee services and for excluding the company from the commercialisation of rights to the Copa del Rey for the 2018-2021 period.

The latest judgement will pile additional pressure on RFEF president Luis Rubiales. The organisation has also been called out by markets regulator the CNMC for its practices.

The watchdog said that the RFEF should improve the way it markets audiovisual rights for the Copa del Rey and Supercopa, and added that the current conditions set by the football body do not meet its legal obligations.

The CNMC said the RFEF should not impose unjustified obligations or reservations that are not supported in law, and that its practice of reserving the right to assess technical and professional requirements in broadcasting matches should be discontinued. It also criticised the duration of contracts and said that these should be in line with European norms.

Mediapro hailed the court ruling against the RFEF and praised the judgement for endorsing its view that the RFEF’s conditions were designed specifically to exclude Mediapro from bidding.

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