Monday, 26 March 2012 00:00

Decision 538/2012

Decision on the complaint (under ref. no. 6129/07.10.201) submitted by the “Hellenic Telecommunications Organisation S.A.” against the supply exclusivity agreements signed between “FORTHNET S.A.” and the panhellenic private television channels under the distinctive names: MEGA, ANTI 1, ALPHA, ALTER, SKAI and STAR, which, according to the complainant, infringed articles 1(1) and 2 of L. 703/1977. 

Decision 538/2012
File (PDF) Decision 538/2012
Date of Issuance of Decision

March 26th, 2012

Government Gazette Issue No
Relevant Market
  1. The market for the provision of television content 
  2.  The market for the acquisition of television content 
  3.  The market for the acquisition of broadcasting rights 
  4.  The market for the provision of a television platform
Subject of the Decision

Anti-competitive agreements, Abuse of a Dominant Position- “exclusivity term”

Legal Framework

Articles 1(1) and 2 L. 703/1977, as in force (current articles 1, 2 and 25 par. 6 L. 3959/2011)

Operative part of the Decision

Finding of infringement

Complainant(s)

Hellenic Telecommunications Organisation S.A.

Respondent(s)

FORTHNET S.A.,  MEGA, ANTI 1, ALPHA, ALTER, SKAI and STAR

Summary of Decision

Decision of the Hellenic Competition Commission on the complaint (under ref. no. 6129/07.10.201) submitted by the “Hellenic Telecommunications Organisation S.A.” against the supply exclusivity agreements signed between “FORTHNET S.A.” and the panhellenic private television channels under the distinctive names: MEGA, ANTI 1, ALPHA, ALTER, SKAI and STAR, which, according tothe complainant, infringed articles 1(1) and 2 of former law 703/1977. 

The complaint concerned the exclusivity term regarding the content retransmission rights that existed in the contracts of the company “MULTICHOICE HELLAS SA.” (subsidiary of FORTHNET S.A) with the panhellenic private television channels ANT1, MEGA, ALPHA, STAR, SKAI, MACEDONIA TV and ALTER, resulting to the inability of these channels to engage in agreements with the complainant such as the ones signed with MULTICHOICE, for the retransmission of their program through the digital satellite platform of the OTE Group, OTE TV.

By its decision (under no. 538/VII/2012), the Plenary Session of the Hellenic Competition Commission, decided unanimously, instead of examining the case, to accept the commitments from the companies “FORTHNET S.A.” and “MULTICHOICE HELLAS S.A.”, as they were finally formulated, in order to ensure the most effective access of competitors to the relevant market.  According to the commitments, the companies:

  1. waived the above condition of exclusivity, and amended the relevant contracts accordingly, with immediate effect from 27 March 2012,
  2. committed to maintain the terms of the contracts in question, as they were in force at the time of the Decision, and
  3. committed not to pursue exclusivity again indefinitely. 

After five years, these companies may request a review and / or reform of these commitments by the Hellenic Competition Commission in relation to the contracts in question. These commitments became mandatory for the companies “FORTHNET S.A” and “MULTICHOICE HELLAS S.A”.

In case of non-compliance, the HCC reserved the right to impose a fine of up to 10% of the total company turnover of the year before the issuance of the Decision. 

Judicial Means

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Decisions by the Court of Appeal of Athens (Administrative Division)

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