Canal+ loses unfair competition case against BeIN Sports

BeIN SportsFrench pay TV operator Canal+ has lost its legal case against Al Jazeera’s BeIN Sports for alleged unfair competition and has been ordered to pay legal costs. 

The Nanterre commercial court threw out Canal+’s suit, filed in July last year. The pay TV operator had claimed €293 million in damages for unfair competition. Canal+ was ordered to pay legal costs of €100,000.

The judges ruled that Canal+ had failed to make their case and that BeIN Sports is not in a dominant position in the pay TV market. They said that if BeIN Sports had significant financial muscle at its disposal, the same could be said of Canal+’s owner Vivendi.

The court also ruled that Canal+ had failed to show that the subscription price charged by its rival is abnormally low relative to the going market rate for such services. The judges also said that there was no evidence that the entry of BeIN Sports in the market had an inflationary effect on the cost of sports rights and noted that Canal+ had invested more than its rival to secure Ligue 1 football rights.

BeIN Sports’ counter claim for €66 million in damages and interest from Canal+ was also rejected by the court.