French set-top provider Aston has said it will take action against Canal+ after accusing the latter of breaching the terms of a Paris Court of Appeal ruling that prevents the pay TV operator from withdrawing support for retail devices bearing the ‘Canal Ready’ logo.
The case relates to Canal+’s decision last year to drop its support for Canal Ready set-tops and return to wholly vertically integrated operation in supplying receivers.
In January Aston, which had contested the decision, secured a court ruling on appeal, suspending an earlier unfavourable judgement by the Paris Commercial Court, putting Canal+’s plans on hold until the allegation that it was abusing its dominant position had been looked into by the country’s competition watchdog.
Aston has now accused Canal+ of acting in bad faith by notifying its subscribers that they could use the Canal+ Le Cube box supplied by the operator to receive Canal+ Sport while failing to inform them that the channel could be received by other Canal Ready decoders, and by informing Canal Ready box owners that they would soon no longer be able to receive their channels on these decoders.
Referring to what it said were Canal+’s “lies, misleading statements and deceptions”, Aston cited the examples of two digital-terrestrial Canal Ready users who had been contacted by Canal+ advising them to sign up to the Canal+ LeCube service.
“Faced with these transgressions by Canal+, Aston intends to take action and invites consumers and distribution networks to do the same and to initiate all actions necessary to defend their interests,” the company said.
“Aston will do its part to stop these schemes and has already brought the matter to the attention of the Competition Authority. Aston will also mobilize consumer groups and the Media, especially those focused on consumer rights.”
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