Sky-I ‘astonished’ at Champions League enquiry extension
08.28 Europe/London, August 17, 2011 By Julian Clover

Sky Italia has expressed its astonishment at the decision by the Italian antitrust authority to extend the current investigation into its purchase of UEFA Champions League rights for the period 2012/13-2014/15.

Under the investigation, which began last November, Sky Italia is accused of abusing a dominant position in the market. “The Antitrust Authority’s initiative appears to be unwarranted and completely groundless,” the satcaster said in a statement. “Sky Italia acquired exclusive rights to just two of the three UEFA Champions League pay- TV rights packages available. The Company did so through an UEFA tender employing the same procedures used in the other European markets and in full compliance with guidance provided by the European Commission”.

In the same tender Mediaset, owned by Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi, acquired a package of free-to-air matches, as well as exclusive rights to the lower tier Europa Leahue.

Sky-I says it will continue to co-operate with the anti-trust authority, but remains convinced it has complied with all the relevant procedures in the purchase.