Egypt imposes hefty anti-trust fine on Qatar's BeIN Sports, CEO

Court said BeIN had violated competition rules through its package deal system
CEO Nasser Al-Khelaifi
Wed 31 Jan 2018 11:05 AM

An Egyptian court imposed a $22 million fine Tuesday on Qatari-owned sports broadcaster BeIN Sports and its chief executive for violating anti-trust regulations.

The broadcaster and CEO Nasser Al-Khelaifi, who is also president of the Paris Saint-Germain football club, were fined 400 million Egyptian pounds by the Cairo Economic Court, the Egyptian Competition Authority said in a statement.

The decision came with ties between Egypt and Qatar deeply strained.

Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the UAE, Yemen and Egypt broke off diplomatic relations with Qatar in June, accusing it of supporting extremists and being too close to Iran. Qatar denies the allegations.

The court said BeIN had violated competition rules through its package deal system, which forces viewers to pay for events they may not be interested in. The specific events were not mentioned in the ruling.

BeIN representatives in Doha could not be reached for comment.

Egypt's anti-trust authority had in 2014 accused BeIN of violating rules by requiring viewers interested in football's World Cup to subscribe for at least a year and purchase a specific satellite receiver. An agreement was eventually reached.

The Confederation of African Football (CAF) in July suspended and fined the coach of Cairo club Al-Ahly, Hossam El Badry, after he boycotted a press conference over the presence of BeIN Sports.

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Last Updated: Wed 31 Jan 2018 11:37 AM GST

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