Spain's Sogecable under fire over film rights

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Spain's Ministry of Economy has accused Spanish pay-TV group Sogecable of hindering competition in the TV cinema market as a result of its exclusive agreements with six US majors, Twentieth Century Fox, Buena Vista International, Universal Studios, Paramount Pictures, Columbia Tristar Film and Warner Bros.

A report produced by the Spain's competition watchdog concludes that each of these contracts, because of their duration and reach, are "a restriction of competition" as "they hinder the access from other pay TV operators to the same contents which are regarded as being essential for the service."

The report is the result of a claim filed by cable operator ONO that accused Sogecable and US Majors of breaking competition law as a result of their exclusive agreements. Sogecable has already appealed. In case of a ruling against Sogecable, the pay-TV group could be punished with a fine of 10 per cent on its total revenues (Sogecable's revenues in 2003 were €1.169m).

Lovelacemedia  |  23.08.2004

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