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COMPETITION COUNCIL: VIASAT CONDUCT DOES NOT IMPEDE COMPETITION

30 06 2014

Competition Council (KT) terminated investigation into suspected abuse of dominance by Viasat World Limited and Viasat AS. The KT held that the actions carried out by the companies influence neither effective competition nor consumer welfare. Therefore, no further investigation is required.

Having received a complaint from TEO LT, SC and JSC Kavamedia, the KT opened an investigation. The companies complained that Viasat World Limited and Viasat AS sold them „Viasat Sport Baltic“ channel distribution rights in different terms and conditions as compared to other companies. During the investigation Viasat World Limited and Viasat AS unified terms and conditions of the channel distribution rights sold to digital television providers. Nevertheless, the price remained higher than the one applied to analogue television providers.

The KT’s experts found that the number of analogue television subscribers watching the channel was notably smaller than the number recorded at the end of the fourth quarter of 2009. At the end of the first quarter of 2014 the number of subscribers watching the channel constituted less than 5 per cent of all the paid television subscribers.

Whereas at the end of the first quarter of 2014 the number of digital television subscribers watching the channel was several times bigger than the relevant number of analogue television subscribers. Since the end of the fourth quarter of 2009 the number of digital television subscribers has increased by more than one third.

The KT stated that the difference between the terms and conditions of channel distribution rights sold to analogue and digital television providers does not impede competition or significantly influence consumer welfare.

Competition Council Spokesperson