Summary of Commission Decision of 22 March 2006 relating to a proceeding pursuant to Article 81 of the EC Treaty (Case COMP/38.173 — Joint selling of the media rights to the FA Premier League) (notified under document number C(2006) 868)
OJ C 7, 12.1.2008, p. 18–18 (BG, ES, CS, DA, DE, ET, EL, EN, FR, IT, LV, LT, HU, MT, NL, PL, PT, RO, SK, SL, FI, SV)
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Summary of Commission Decision
of 22 March 2006
relating to a proceeding pursuant to Article 81 of the EC Treaty
(Case COMP/38.173 — Joint selling of the media rights to the FA Premier League)
(notified under document number C(2006) 868)
(Only the English text is authentic)
On 22 March 2006, the Commission adopted a decision relating to a proceeding under Article 81 of the EC Treaty. In accordance with the provisions of Article 30 of Council Regulation (EC) No 1/2003 , the Commission herewith publishes the names of the parties and the main content of the decision, having regard to the legitimate interest of undertakings in the protection of their business interests. A non-confidential version of the full text of the decision can be found in the authentic language of the case, at DG COMP web-site at the following address:
(1) The decision concerns the Football Association Premier League Limited (FAPL). The subject matter of the procedure is the horizontal joint selling arrangements put in place by the football clubs in the Premier League for the exploitation in the United Kingdom of media rights to Premier League football matches.
(2) In a preliminary assessment, the Commission considered that certain aspects of these horizontal joint selling arrangements raised concerns as to their compatibility with Article 81(1) of the EC Treaty and that the arrangements did not fulfill the criteria set out in Article 81(3) of the EC Treaty.
(3) Following the preliminary assessment, the FAPL proposed commitments, which were later amended to take account of the relevant observations by interested third parties. The Commission considers that these commitments are now sufficient to address the concerns identified by its preliminary assessment and the observations submitted by interested third parties.
(4) The commitments introduce greater competition into the marketing of Premier League rights, provide a transparent and non-discriminatory sales procedure, ensure that no single purchaser will be able to buy all live TV rights, improve accessibility of content for television, radio and new media operators, and make sure that all rights are being made available to the market.
(5) The decision concludes that in view of the commitments offered by the FAPL, as amended to take account of the relevant observations by interested third parties, there are no longer grounds for the Commission to take action within the meaning of Article 9(1) of Regulation (EC) No 1/2003 and, without prejudice to Article 9(2) of Regulation (EC) No 1/2003, the proceeding should be brought to an end.
(6) The Commitments shall be binding on the FAPL and shall apply to the marketing, sale and exploitation of Premier League rights for six seasons with effect from the 2007/2008 season.
(7) The Advisory Committee on restrictive practices and Dominant Positions issued a favourable opinion on 13 March 2006.
 OJ L 1, 4.1.2003, p. 1. Regulation as amended by Regulation (EC) No 411/2004 (OJ L 68, 6.3.2004, p. 1).