2015 July

European Commission announces competition investigation into major film studios

On 23 July 2015, the Commission announced that it had sent a Statement of Objections to the major film studios (Disney, Twentieth Century Fox, Warner Bros., Sony Pictures, NBC Universal, Paramount Pictures) and the Pay-TV broadcaster Sky UK alleging a breach of EU competition law. In particular, the Commission alleges that contractual provisions preventing EU consumers outside of the United Kingdom and Ireland from accessing pay-TV services are anti-competitive.  In announcing the investigation, Commissioner Margrethe Vestager stated:

“European consumers want to watch the pay-TV channels of their choice regardless of where they live or travel in the EU. Our investigation shows that they cannot do this today, also because licensing agreements between the major film studios and Sky UK do not allow consumers in other EU countries to access Sky’s UK and Irish pay-TV services, via satellite or online. We believe that this may be in breach of EU competition rules.”


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