CCP takes notice of exclusive rights granted to Geo Super -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

CCP takes notice of exclusive rights granted to Geo Super

ISLAMABAD: The Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP) has taken notice of the exclusive rights granted by the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) to “Geo Super” to telecast all Cricket World Cup 2011 matches on cable and satellite under an exclusive agreement with ESPN.

The CCP has written a letter drawing PEMRA’s attention to a news item published in “The News” on 13 January 2011 with reference to Independent Music Group (IMG) having acquired exclusive rights for “Geo Super” to telecast all Cricket World Cup 2011 matches on cable and satellite under an exclusive agreement with ESPN.

The CCP has informed PEMRA that while PEMRA has withdrawn the said directives however, the Commission in this regard would like to emphasise that such grant of exclusive rights whether pertaining to the agreement in particular, or pursuant to any other agreement prima facie attracts the provisions of Competition Act, 2010 (Act) and would require seeking exemption in terms of Section 4 read with Section 5 and 9 of the Act.

Section 4 prohibits undertakings to enter into any agreement in respect of distribution or provision of services which has the object or effect of preventing, restricting or reducing competition within the relevant market unless exempted under Section 5. Further more, in terms of sub-section 3 of Section 4 such exclusive agreements are void unless exempted by the Commission under section 5 of the Act.

In view of the foregoing, PEMRA has been intimated to advise all parties concerned to seek exemption prior to availing any exclusive rights. Subsequently, ‘GEO super’ through public notices/advertisements published in various news papers claimed to have acquired exclusive rights to telecast Cricket world cup 2011 matches. The Commission took cognisance of the said public notice/advertisements and asked IMG and ESPN to not only provide a copy of the said exclusive agreement but also to seek exemption under the Competition Act, 2010; as the same would be void in-terms of the provisions of the Act unless exempted by the Commission, CCP added.
Source: Business Recorder
Date:1/18/2011