The Competition Commission of India (CCI) recently decided to investigate complaints that the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) was infringing competition law. The CCI decided that BCCI had been guilty of abusing its dominant position in the award of commercial contracts for the IPL and more generally in the way in which it exercised its powers to sanction cricket in India. This article looks at how the CCI reached its decision and what prospects BCCI may have on appeal.
When football and broadcasting come up in conversation, BSkyB's (Sky) live coverage of the Premier League (PL) since 1992 is never far from many people's lips. It was Sky's strategic driver that, along with first run movies was the subscriber driver. It also had the very large consequence of bringing large amounts of Pay-TV revenue into the hands of PL chairmen. The mutually beneficial relationship, after twenty years, continues apace. The aim of this article is to trace the broadcasting victories in the football sphere that threatened to derail Sky's grip on PL football.
The General Court of the European Union recently rejected an appeal by the Luxembourg football club F91 Diddeleng against the decision of the European Commission to close an investigation concerning the player regulations of the Fédération luxembourgeoise de football (FLF). In an order of 16 April in Case T-341/10 F91 Diddeleng v. Commission, the General Court considered the appeal to be manifestly inadmissible.
The case is important as it demonstrates the limited procedural rights of complainants which bring free movement complaints to the Commission. In addition, it clarified that there is no requirement on the part of the Commission to investigate a matter under European competition law if this has not been properly raised by the complainant.
How the NFL lockout arose
In the case of the NFL CBA drama the players made the first move on 11 March 2011 (seven days after the CBA had formally expired) by decertifying the NFLPA, essentially walking away from and dissolving the union. Here a further body came into the picture, the National Labour Relations Board ('NLRB').
The multi million pound sponsorship and naming rights deal just announced between Manchester City and Etihad Airways has raised the issue of clubs seeking ways to circumvent the Financial Fair Play Regulations (FFP), which are due to be phased in by UEFA during the 2011/2012 season. It also provides an interesting debate about the impact of Competition Laws on long term sponsorship deals.
High profile takeovers of Premier League (PL) football clubs have become common place in recent times. Current Chelsea owner like Roman Abramovich is almost as recognisable as some of his star players. Many investors have seen the vast revenues that can be generated from broadcasting money, Champions League success, merchandising and ticket sales. Since 2005 11 current PL clubs have changed ownership as illustrated by the below table.
By Gary Rice, Beauchamps Solicitors
UEFA and the European Clubs Association have begun discussions regarding a salary cap on the amount a club can spend on player transfers and wages. It is proposed that clubs should only be allowed to spend around 51% of their revenue on transfers and salaries.
By Alexandre Miguel Mestre, PLMJ - A. M. Pereira, Sáragga Leal
The decision making practice of the Commission and the case law of the EU regarding the application of EU Competition Law to sport lack consistency, coherence and legal certainty. The contradictions are twofold: (i) Contradictions within EU institutions and EU courts: (ii) Contradictions between EU institutions and EU courts.
It will not have passed notice even in this glorious summer of sporting action that there have been some significant developments in the televising of FAPL matches. Only this month, Ofcom suffered what looks to have been a total wipe-out in front of the Competition Appeal Tribunal in its attempt to regulate the wholesale prices that Sky charges to the likes of BT and Virgin. The judgment in Sky's favour has yet to be published as the many parties are arguing about alleged breaches of confidentiality. However, it appears clear enough that Ofcom lost on the facts. This will make it very difficult for the regulator to mount a successful appeal. Sky therefore looks to have seen off this particular threat to its business model. Where that puts Ofcom's five years of effort is another matter altogether.
The NBA takes the NFL’s lead
With expiry of the NBA CBA due at midnight on 30 June 2011, after hours of fruitless negotiations since the beginning of the year, in May the National Basketball Players Association (‘NBPA’) filed a complaint with the National Labour Relations Board (‘NLRB’) accusing the league of negotiating in bad faith by failing to provide critical financial data and repeatedly threatening to lockout the players.
It cannot have escaped the attention of sports fans on the East side of the Atlantic, even those who do not follow US sports, that both the National Football League (‘NFL’) and the National Basketball Association (‘NBA’) have spent much of 2011 in protracted legal wranglings between the respective leagues (specifically the team owners) and their players as regards Collective Bargaining Agreements ('CBAs').
FRENCH COMPETITION AUTHORITY ISSUES RECOMMENDATIONS TO WARRANT A REAL COMPETITION ON THE ONLINE GAMBLING MARKET BY DIANE MULLENEX AND ANNABELLE RICHARD
On January 20, 2011 the French Competition Authority issued its opinion on the potential competition issues likely to arise following the enactment of the law of May 12, 2010 which opened the online gambling sector to competition.
APPLICATION for the annulment of the Commission’s decision of 1 August 2002 rejecting the complaint lodged by the applicants against the International Olympic Committee (IOC) seeking a declaration that certain rules adopted by the latter and implemented by the Fédération internationale de natation (FINA) and certain practices relating to doping control are incompatible with the Community rules on competition and freedom to provide services (Case COMP/38158 – Meca-Medina and Majcen/IOC).
For full case reference, here.
The news that most analysts expected was confirmed in the last few weeks as BSkyB (Sky) retained its broadcasting hold over the Premier League (PL) for the next three years.