Swiss Competition Commission fines UPC CHF 30m for abusing Ice Hockey broadcasting rights
The Swiss Competition Commission (COMCO) has fined UPC with CHF 30 million for abusing Ice Hockey broadcasting rights. In 2016, UPC acquired broadcasting rights for games of the Swiss Ice Hockey Championship. It refused to supply Swisscom with broadcasts of live ice hockey for years. This refusal is illegal under anti-trust law.
UPC acquired exclusive rights to broadcast matches from the Swiss Ice Hockey Championship for the years 2017 to 2022. As a result, it is dominant in the market for live broadcasting of ice hockey matches on pay TV.
UPC has abused this market dominance by refusing Swisscom any offer to broadcast live ice hockey until summer 2020. By this conduct, UPC has illegally impeded Swisscom in competition.
Already in May 2016, COMCO sanctioned Swisscom in an earlier procedure for similar conduct regarding the broadcast of live sports (football and ice hockey). COMCO thus confirms its position in the assessment of illegal refusals to supply.
An appeal against the decision of COMCO can be made to the Federal Administrative Court.