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Swisscom wins reprieve in regulatory battle over sports rights

Swisscom has claimed a partial victory in its dispute with cable operators over its exploitation of sports rights. 

The Swiss Competition Commission (Comco) has rejected an appeal by three cable operators in May to take precautionary measures against Swisscom. Comco launched an investigation into the distribution of sport on pay TV in April to see whether Swisscom’s arrangement with Swisscom to provide rights to pay TV arm Teleclub were in breach of the country’s antitrust laws.

Comco said at the time that there were signs that Cinetrade and Swisscom were abusing their dominant position in pay TV sports rights, with Cinetrade refusing to distribute certain offers to competing platforms.

Swisscom rejects the allegations and says that it introduced new competition to the market when it launched Swisscom TV in 2006. It said sports fans in the country now benefited from a much wider range of live broadcasts both on free and pay TV than was previously the case. Swisscom says that a certain amount of exclusivity is necessary to recoup the investment that both it and Cinetrade have made in developing sports broadcasting.