HAVING ASSESSED THE COMMITMENTS PROVIDED BY VIASAT THE INVESTIGATION WAS TERMINATED
In its hearing of 22 November the Competition Council having assessed the commitments provided by Viasat World Limited terminated the investigation concerning the actions of Viasat World Limited and Viasat AS (further – VIASAT) as to their compliance with the requirements of Article 9 of the Law on Competition of the Republic of Lithuania. It was also acknowledged that there were no legal grounds to continue the investigation as to compliance with the requirements of Article 102 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.
The Competition Council investigated whether VIASAT was not abusing its dominant position by establishing different Viasat Sport Baltic channel distribution terms for providers of multichannel subscriber television services. Viasat Sport Baltic channel is the only channel in Lithuania broadcasting such exclusive international sport events as UEFA Champions League, Euroleague, and Formula 1. Suspicions arose as to whether different channel distribution terms did not prevent some undertakings rebroadcasting television channels from acquiring Viasat Sport Baltic channel and providing an opportunity for consumers to watch this channel.
In the course of the investigation VIASAT voluntarily terminated the suspected actions and offered commitments not to apply different Viasat Sport Baltic channel distribution terms. According to the Competition Council, such actions and commitments offered by VIASAT will provide a possibility for all undertakings rebroadcasting television channels to acquireViasat Sport Baltic channel on equal and non-discriminatory terms and offer this channel to their audience. Having assessed these circumstances, the Competition Council decided not to continue the investigation, as the actions that could have infringed competition rules were terminated and the commitments not to perform such actions assumed. All this, in opinion of the Competition Council should create a possibility for rebroadcasting undertakings to compete more effectively and provide a wider range of services for their audience.
While terminating the investigation the Competition Council has acknowledged as obligatory the following commitments offered by Viasat World Limited:
1) During all the commitment period to apply non-discriminatory Viasat Sport Baltic channel distribution terms for all providers of multichannel subscriber television services acquiring Viasat Sport Baltic channel for its distribution to the buyers of multichannel subscriber television services.
2) Commitments assumed by the company shall apply to transactions concluded after publication of the operative part of the Resolution of the Competition Council, by which the commitments of Viasat World Limited would be confirmed, in the annex “Informaciniai Pranešimai” of the official gazette “Lietuvos Žinios”. The agreements, concluded before the day of assuming commitments by Viasat World Limited and containing other terms for acquiring and distributing of Viasat Sport Baltic channel shall be valid until their expiry date, but shall not be prolonged.
3) The company shall assume commitments for a period of two years, and they can be terminated before this period only in case of liquidation of Viasat Sport Baltic channel.
Viasat World Limited and Viasat AS are obliged by the Competition Council within one month after adoption of the Resolution of the Competition Council to inform about the assumed commitments the providers of multichannel subscriber television services acting in Lithuania.Competition Council Spokesperson