beIN group rejects Egyptian court fine
March 15, 2018 11.23 Europe/London By Julian Clover
beIN Media Group has told Broadband TV News that it rejects the $22.7 million fine set by the Egyptian Competition Authority and upheld this week by the Cairo economic court.
“At all times, beIN has acted in full compliance with all relevant laws, including competition law, and will pursue all legal means available to challenge the judgement,” the company said in a statement.
The Egyptian Competition Authority (ECA) argues the Qatari company had abused its position when transmitting its coverage of the main African football competitions. Rather than transmit the coverage on Egypt’s Nilesat satellite, viewers were required to point their dishes at Qatar’s Suhail Sat satellite.
beIN said the “unfounded allegations” have no basis in competition law and the regulator was acting without authority.
“beIN’s decision to progressively move its programming from NileSat (its backup satellite operator) to EshailSat (its primary satellite operator) is based on entirely valid commercial, technical and operational reasons and, in fact, results in improved satellite feed,” says the pay-TV platform. “Indeed, the Egyptian court’s direct interference in beIN’s right to freely choose its satellite operators not only has no basis in law but, in of itself, constitutes a serious violation of competition law by the court, which is unilaterally conferring commercial advantage on Nile Sat over and above other satellite operators in the market.”
It said that the judgement itself was acting against the interests of football fans.