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KSA imposes SAR 10m fine on BeIN Sports; terminates licence permanently

KSA imposes SAR 10m fine on BeIN Sports; terminates licence permanently
BeIN Sports shall return all financial gains it obtained as a result of the violation

Riyadh - Mubasher: Investigations conducted by the Saudi General Authority for Competition (GAC) against BeIN Sports indicated that the channel had abused its dominant position and committed several monopolistic practices related to potential subscribers to a BeIN's exclusive sports broadcast bundle of the 2016 UEFA European Championship matches.

This has been classified as a clear per se violation of the Competition Law and its Implementing Regulations, hence, GAC undertook the necessary measures to stop such practices, according to a press release on Tuesday.

The Board of Directors of GAC had imposed the maximum daily fine stipulated in the Competition Law on BeIN Sports, which the latter had not implemented and rather challenged the decision before the Administrative Court in Riyadh, but the claim was dismissed.

The Administrative Court (Trial and Appellate) upheld the decision of the Committee for Adjudication of Competition Law Violation, which stated the following:

   1- BeIN Sports Group - Middle East and North Africa, the defendant, shall be fined SAR 10 million.

   2- The defendant's license in Saudi Arabia shall be permanently terminated.

   3- All financial gains obtained by the defendant as a result of the violation shall be returned. 

   4- This decision shall be published at the defendant’s expense.

The GAC encouraged all stakeholders concerned and the private sector to promote and build a lawful competition in the sports broadcasting industry to enhance the transparency, justice, and quality of this industry, the statement concluded.