The Cairo Economic Court on Tuesday issued a ruling of a $22 mln (EGP 400 mln) fine in the case filed by the competition protection body and the ban on monopolistic practices against the company owned by Nasser bin Ghanim Al-Khelaifi, chairman of beIN SPORTS.
The Board of Directors of the Competition Protection and Prevention of Monopolistic Practices, headed by Dr. Mona Al-Jarf, approved on January 3, 2017, that beIN SPORTS Network violated Articles 8 (d) and 8 (g) of the Competition Protection Law and referred these violations to the Prosecution Department of Finance and Trade affairs.
The Qatari company demanded that subscribers switch from Nilesat (Egypt’s satellite) to Qatar's Suhail Sat satellite at their own expense to view the company's sports packages without any technical reason for such transfer, which harmed competition in the market.
The Egyptian Competition Protection Authority said that the Qatari decision harmed not only Nilesat and threatened it of getting out of the market or losing its customers under the company's acquisition of the right to offer exclusive tournaments, but also affected consumers with unjustified expenses to connect new satellite dishes for their subscription.
beIN SPORTS’ violation of the competition protection law was not the first of its kind for the company. In 2014, the company proved to be in violation of the law. It abused its dominant position in the Egyptian market in the way the 2014 World Cup was presented forcing subscribers to commit to one year membership to view the tournament.
"The decision of the Economic Court came to stop the harmful practices committed by beIN SPORTS against the Egyptian football fans," said Muna Al-Jarf, chairman of the Competition Protection Authority.
"The decision also contributed to shed light on the practices of the Qatari company. This situation led the Swiss authorities to open an investigation against the company and press charges related to the payment of bribes for exclusive rights to broadcast the World Cup until 2030.