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Israel: Pay-TV price rises may go ahead

Israel’s Antitrust Authority has determined that it has no powers to halt a proposed price rise by the country’s two major pay-TV providers. However, it is far from certain that the price rises will be allowed.

“The Council for Cable TV and Satellite Broadcasting is authorized to approve the price hikes by Hot and Yes, not the Antitrust Authority,” the Antitrust Authority stated. “The Council for Cable TV and Satellite Broadcasting contacted the Antitrust Authority, claiming that ‘Yes’ and ‘Hot’ were breaking the law, but presented no grounds for this claim.

It had been alleged that the near-simultaneous price rises proposed by the two operators were remarkably coincidental.

“The fact that they are raising prices at almost the same time does not constitute a violation of the law, and since the Council for Cable TV and Satellite Broadcasting presented no evidence that the law was broken, the Antitrust Authority has nothing to consider. The decision whether or not to approve the price hikes by ‘Yes’ and ‘Hot’ was, and remains, in the hands of the Council for Cable TV and Satellite Broadcasting.”

The Council for Cable TV and Satellite Broadcasting, in its response, said it will hold a meeting in December about the price hikes. “The Antitrust Authority’s opinion about the timing of the price hike announcements is only one of the aspects the Council for Cable TV and Satellite Broadcasting members will be informed of before the discussion.”

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