Calls for tender for Italian Football League international tv rights: investigation launched for alleged cartel between intermediaries


During its meeting of 19 July 2017, the Italian Competition Authority (“ICA”) resolved to open proceedings against companies belonging to the Media Partners & Silva, IMG and B4 groups, operating as intermediaries in the management, marketing and distribution of rights pertaining to the transmission of sporting events, in order to ascertain possible violations of Art. 101 of the TFEU, perpetrated by the participants in the tenders called since 2009 by the Serie A Professional Football League for the marketing of rights pertaining to watching from abroad the matches played in Italy, including Serie A (Serie A Football Championships, Italian Cup Tournament and League Super Cup Match, as well as some youth and League football team championships) and Serie B championships.
It is suspected that, starting in 2009, the intermediaries have been carrying out conducts aimed at altering the final outcome of the procedures issued by the Serie A Professional Football League for the assignment of TV rights pertaining to watching the competitions from outside Italy and sharing the profits and geographical distribution areas thereof.

The preliminary investigation was initiated based on the documentation sent by the Public Prosecutor's Office of Milan in connection to an investigation including various types of alleged offences concerning the tenders in question.

On 27 July, with the assistance of Guardia di Finanza, inspections were carried out at the offices of the companies taking part in the tenders and other parties deemed to hold relevant information.

The proceedings must be concluded by the deadline of 31 October 2018.

Rome, 27 July 2017