The Cairo Economic Court fined Tuesday the Qatari-owned channel beIN Sports and its chairperson Nasser al-Khalaifi L.E 400 million over anti-competitive practices, according to a statement issued Tuesday by the Egyptian Competition (ECA).
The Egyptian Competition Authority (ECA), led by Mona el-Garf, proved in its session on January 3, 2017, that beIN Sports has violated the Article 8 (Paragraph g) in the Egyptian Competition Law; as instead of using the Egyptian satellite Nilesat, it obliged the subscribers to turn to Qatari satellite Sohail to watch beIn Sports during the last African cup in Gabon; causing Nilesat direct economic deficits, and harming the competition in the market, according to the statement.
The statement added that the ECA referred in its session on January 3, 2017, beIN Sports channel to prosecution for another case; then to Cairo Economic Court as it breaks article 8 (paragraph d) of the Egyptian Competition Law (ECL) when its subscription system was exploitative to the extent that it tied the sale of all football sports events and thereby forced its customers to subscribe to all sports bundles should they wish to watch any given football tournament.
The statement further remarked that it is not the first time for the channel to violate the law; in 2014, the ECA proved that it abused its dominant position in the Egyptian market in broadcasting the 2014 football World Cup.
In October 2017, the General prosecution referred Qatari-owned beIN Sports and its chairperson Nasser al-Khalaifi to the Criminal Court for contravening article 20 of the Protection of Competition Act and committing monopolizing practices.
The Qatari-based French-owned Lagardère Sports Agency was granted exclusive rights to broadcast the main African football competitions for the region from 2017 through to 2028 in an agreement signed with the CAF on June 15, 2015; raising questions over the transparency of the bidding process.