Germany drops antitrust probe of Champions League TV rights

Germany drops antitrust probe of Champions League TV rights

BONN, Germany (AP) — Germany has dropped antitrust proceedings against broadcasters Sky and DAZN over alleged collusion in the bidding for Champions League TV rights, a regulator said Wednesday.

The Bundeskartellamt, Germany's federal antitrust body, said that the coronavirus pandemic was a factor in the decision.

“The effects of the Corona crisis on the current football season in Europe make near-term market developments hardly predictable,” Bundeskartellamt president Andreas Mundt said in a statement.

"For this reason, it would currently be particularly difficult to assess the effects of an intervention under competition law.”

The investigation was launched in 2018, a year after Sky successfully bid for the German broadcast rights for three seasons. Sky later split the rights with streaming service DAZN. One effect of the deal was to take Champions League games off free-to-air broadcast in Germany.

The Bundeskartellamt was examining whether Sky and DAZN had agreed to split the rights before the bidding process.

Amazon took over a large share of the German rights from 2021 in a bidding process in December, squeezing out Sky.

“New players entering the market are increasing its dynamism, which was again demonstrated by the recent award procedure," Mundt said.

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More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/apf-Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Source: https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/soccer/2020/04/15/germany-drops-antitrust-probe-of-champions-league-tv-rights/111551496/

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