The Cairo Economic Court on Tuesday ruled to fine chairman of beIN SPORTS Nasser bin Ghanim al-Khelaifi with EGP400 million on charges of violating competition protection rules and monopolizing broadcast rights.
Last October, the Egyptian prosecution referred, for the second time, beIN SPORTS and its representative to trial. Cairo Economic Court started looking into the case in November.
Egypt's top prosecutor Nabil Sadek said at the time that the investigations by the Prosecution Department of Finance and Trade affairs revealed that beIN SPORTS violated article 8 of the Egyptian Competition Law (ECL).
BeIN Sports has the exclusive broadcasting rights of several world football championships. The channel did not comment on the verdict.
According to a statement issued Tuesday by the Egyptian Competition (ECA), the Cairo Economic Court issued a verdict to fine Khelaifi after his company was proven to have violated ECL number 3 for 2005. It added that the ECA, led by Mona el-Garf, referred in its session on January 3, 2017, beIN Sports channel to the Prosecution Department of Finance and Trade affairs for breaching the ECL.
The company demanded that subscribers switch from Nilesat (Egypt’s satellite) to Qatar's Suhail Sat satellite at their own expense to view the company's sports packages without providing any technical reason for such a transfer.
The decision harmed not only Nilesat and threatened to drive it out of the market or lose its customers under the company's acquisition of the exclusive right to broadcast tournaments, but it also affected consumers with unjustified expenses to connect new satellite dishes for their subscription.