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Live TV clash Swisscom rejects unlawful sports marketing charges

Swisscom and its Teleclub subsidiary bought the broadcast rights for the Swiss football championships for five years from 2012

(Keystone)

The Swiss telecom group Swisscom has denied allegations it abuses its dominant position in live sports broadcasting on pay-per-view television.

In a statement released on Tuesday, Swisscom rejected the CHF71.8 million ($72.5 million) fine and allegations made by Switzerland’s Competition Commission (COMCO) that it holds a dominant position in the marketing of sports programmes.

Swisscom said it remained confident it had ‘acted lawfully in marketing of sports content’. It plans to file an appeal with the Federal Administrative Court, and if necessary with the Federal Tribunal Court.

COMCO fined the Swisscom group with its subsidiaries CT Cinetrade AG and Teleclub AG, saying it holds a dominant position particularly with respect to live broadcasting of Swiss football and ice hockey championships as well as certain foreign league games on pay-per-view TV.

It claims Swisscom has abused this dominant position to gain an advantage in several ways.

“It has refused to supply some competitors with broadcasts of live sports for their platforms at all. To other competitors such as Cablecom, Swisscom has only granted access to a reduced range of sports content. Furthermore, the competitors, unlike Swisscom, could only offer their customers the sports content in combination with the basic package of Teleclub,” COMCO said.

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