Italy: Antitrust authority opens new Sky Italia probe
August 17, 2011
From Branislav Pekic in Rome
The Italian Antitrust Authority has decided to expand its investigation into Sky Italia’s dominant position with particular attention to the broadcaster’s transmission of the UEFA Champions League, which can only be watched on a pay-per-view basis.
The inquiry will be in addition to the on-going investigation on the purchase of the TV rights to the 2010 and 2014 World Cup.
For its part, Sky Italia has rejected the Antitrust’s decision on the company’s alleged abuse of a dominant position in buying the rights for the 2012-2013, 2013-2014 and 2014-2015 UEFA Champions League matches.
The pay-TV operator claims the decision was “unexpected and totally unjustified” as it bought the TV rights for the competition, only being awarded exclusive rights on two of the three lots available, after a tender issued by UEFA, following procedures used in other European markets and fully respecting indications provided by the European Commission.