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Aston wins latest Canal Ready court case

January 27, 2015

Aston has won its appeal in the Paris Court of Appeal in proceedings it brought
against the Canal+ Group.

Aston contested the unilateral decision of the Canal+ Group to terminate the Canal Ready label contract linking the two companies, believing that this decision violated the basic rules of free competition in the market by abusing the market dominance of the Canal+ Group.

The Paris Court of Appeal has ruled in favour of Aston and made orders to rectify the situation.  The Court has ordered that:
–       The Canal+ Group’s termination of the partnership agreement between it and Aston ceases to have effect.
–       The Canal+ Group’s decision forcing the cessation of the manufacture of Canal Ready labelled Set Top Boxes from 15 October 2014 ceases to have effect.
–       The Canal+ Group’s decision with drawing Aston’s authorisation to sell its existing stock of Canal Ready labelled Set Top Boxes (decoders) after 15 April 2015 ceases to have effect.
–       The Canal+ Group’s decision to stop marketing stand-alone cards in 2016 ceases to have effect.

These suspension orders will remain in force until the final judgement is given concerning the Canal+ Group’s alleged abuse of its dominant position.

Moreover, Canal+ recently sent some of its subscribers a letter informing them that as of January 21, 2015, in order to enhance security of its programs, Canal+ Sport channel will no longer be available on SD (standard definition) decoders. To regain access to this channel, Canal+ informed these subscribers that they can use the HD (high definition) rental decoder Canal+ Le Cube.
Canal+ failed to mention in this letter that customers are still able and free to continue to receive the Canal+ Sport channel by using HD decoders labelled Canal Ready which continue to be available for sale.
Aston asserts that the HD decoders labelled Canal Ready meets all the safety requirements laid down by Canal+ in its specifications and that the software was recently updated specifically to further enhance the level of security.

Categories: Articles, Policy, Regulation