The PCA converts into mandatory conditions the commitments presented by the Controlinveste Media group

Press Release 10/2015
The PCA converts into mandatory conditions the commitments presented by the Controlinveste Media group
 
 
The Portuguese Competition Authority (PCA) has adopted a decision that renders legally binding the commitments presented by the Controlinveste Media group regarding the sale of media rights and stadium advertising of the domestic premier and second football leagues.
The investigation carried out by the PCA, which started on 11 April 2013, found that the agreements between the football clubs and Controlinveste Media group involved a risk of market foreclosure resulting essentially from the long duration of the exclusivity agreements, the suspension mechanism and the right of first refusal.
Faced with the competition concerns raised by the PCA, the Controlinveste Media group offered commitments aimed at stopping the investigated practices, which were subject to a public consultation.
Following the public consultation, and based on the comments received, the PCA considered that the commitments offered were able to eliminate the potential harmful effects on competition and protect consumers’ interests. Moreover, the commitments offered remove barriers to entry and expansion for actual or potential competitors.
Under these commitments, the Controlinveste Media group commits to not conclude new agreements with the football clubs of the premier and second football leagues that have:
(i) exclusivity obligations exceeding three years;
(ii) clauses giving a right of first refusal; and
(iii) clauses identical to the current suspension clauses that extend the duration of the contract beyond three years.

With respect to the contracts currently in force, which are not in line with the commitments, the Controlinveste Media group undertakes to grant to the football clubs of the premier and second football leagues:
(i) the right to terminate their contracts without any penalty or compensation, with effect from the end of the 2015/2016 season, provided that it is notified by registered letter until 30 November 2015;
(ii) the right to opt-out from the suspension mechanism; and
(iii) the right to waive the right of first refusal.

The Controlinveste Media group is legally bound to respect these commitments, subject to close monitoring by the PCA.