Sports Leagues Face Heavy Fines For Restricting Mobile Access in EU

International sports leagues including Premier League football and Formula One motor racing could face fines of millions of dollars after claims that they are not giving mobile phone operators fair access to their content. Fair access to sports content has come up before in EU (see the related links below)…

European Commission has indicated in a statement that it has concerns over alleged anti-competitive behaviour by sports rights-holders. While rights-owners are not directly blocking access by refusing to enter into negotiations with operators, concerns existed about “behaviour…leading to more indirect forms of access refusal”. For example, it said, rights holders were imposing excessive terms of sale or putting overly restrictive conditions on content.

The Commission’s findings are preliminary and will now go out for consultation.

Related:

European Court Ruling Clears Way For Online Sports Services

Sports Rights And 3G/Wireless Adoption

EU Probes New Media Content Battle