The Antimonopoly has rejected the commitments that the sports streaming service Dazn and its partner Telecom Italia (Tim) have presented for repair possible violations of the principles of competition in relation to the agreement reached between the two parties on July 6, 2021. This was reported by the publication of a note from Codacons, which participated in the procedure for representing the rights of users potentially harmed by anti-competitive conduct and reconstructed history. According to Reuters, according to current regulations in Italy, both groups are at risk a fine of up to 10% of their turnover if the Authority decides that they have infringed the rules of market competition.
On March 26, 2021, Dazn received the television rights for the screening of all parties in the Serie A football for three seasons, from 2021 to 2024, with 2.5 billion euros (840 million a year). Shortly afterwards, he reached an agreement with Tim, where he qualifies as a leading pay-TV and pay-TV operator as well as a technology partner. This means that the Dazn application is on the Tim Vision portal and that Telecom Italia will make its band available for the retransmission of meetings. All this paying an annual fee of 340 million euros. On July 6, as soon as the agreement was signed, although no measures were imposed, the Antitrust Authority initiated an investigation into the two operators. According to Codacons’ note, the procedure referred to the possibility of commercially and technically limiting Dazn in the offer of pay-TV services, reducing the group’s ability to offer discounts to users (in breach of Article 101 TFEU). , Treaty). on the functioning of the European Union, which prevents agreements, decisions and practices between companies affecting trade between EU countries) but also incentives for investment for interconnection with fixed and mobile operators and for adaptation of your content distribution network. Provisions of the agreement that hinder competing telecommunications operators of Tim – we read – to undertake commercial initiatives and that, through the wide exclusivity, present selective characteristics, also affecting the existing contractual relations and preventing them to replicate the possibility of applying discounts or granting to its users promotional vouchers for to the offer of contents related to Matches of the Series A.
Procedure in progress until March 2023
On July 13, the consumer association explained, the Antimonopoly issued a provision specifying that the commitments submitted by Telecom Italia SpA, Dazn Limited and Dazn Media Services Srl seem, both collectively and individually, unsuitable for cease. the anti-competitive profiles identified in the resolution initiating the investigation, as they are not able to resolve the competition issues highlighted in the initiation provision, when they have not resulted in shared contractual changes, thus eliminating the competition issues. Therefore, the Authority decided to reject the commitments submitted by Telecom Italia SpA, Dazn Limited and Dazn Media Services Srl. At this point, in the next few hours, more Antimonopoly moves on the Dazn-Tim case, also with regard to the complaint filed by Codacons against the tariff increases for the vision of the 2022-2023 football championship ordered by the company. Tim responded by stating that he was considering the next steps. Separately, however, the Authority stated that it is complete the procedure before March 31, 2023, compared to the previous deadline of June 30, 2022. Dazn has announced that it has taken note of the Authority’s provision extending the deadline for the conclusion of the procedure and, pending the communication of the preliminary results, Dazn, as it has always done since the beginning of the procedure, will continue to act to ensure compliance with the agreement.
The complaint about the rate increase
The association’s request to open an investigation procedure with the aim of verifying the legitimacy of the tariff increases ordered unilaterally ordered by the company, and respect for the rights of users already subscribed to the service. According to the Codacons in the note, in other cases of inefficiency on the part of the platform, the intervention of the institutions was necessary. The rate increase established by the platform is equal to 50% (in fact it will go from a monthly subscription of 19.99 euros to one of 29.99 euros as well as another of 39.99 euros if you want to apply the called the Plus package) and could be, in addition to a burden on the pockets of many users / subscribers of the service, a real imbalance in the football sector. Applying the new costs would be a clear demonstration of how the streaming station arrives to unilaterally modify commercial offers violating the interests of users and fans. Already during the recently concluded Championship, the Alleged Authorities were repeatedly called upon to intervene regarding the behavior assumed by the streaming platform in order to protect the subscribers.