The Egyptian Competition Authority said on Monday that beIN Sports crisis in the Egyptian market has nothing to do with politics.
ECA Director Mona El-Garf told a presser that the case’s roots come back to September 2016, while the political crisis between Egypt and Qatar erupted last month.
The Egyptian watchdog announced earlier this month that Qatari-owned beIN Sports TV Network deal with Egyptian Cable Network Egypt (CNE) is legally invalid and does not need a court verdict to be proved illegal.
The ECA asserted that beIN Sports has violated the provisions of the law on protection of competition.
The TV network holds exclusive rights over the broadcasting of many football tournaments in Egypt, putting it in a dominant position that enables it to dictate its terms on subscribers.
According to the statement, the ECA said that the subscribers’ contract with the network is cancelled.
“beIN’s subscription packages limit customers’ choices, as it forces them to subscribe for the entire content rather than for specific items,” the statement confirmed.
For example, customers who wanted to watch the 2016 UEFA European Championship were forced to subscribe for a whole year to one of beIN’s packages as a condition to watch it.
In April 2016, the ECA formed a working group to investigate the Consumer Protection Agency’s (CPA) claim against beIN Sports.
The representative of beIN Sports in Egypt is the CNE.
During the World Cup matches of 2014, the ECA had looked into beIN Sports practices and proved that the CNE abused its dominant status in the market.
A CNE spokesperson wasn’t available for immediate comment.