MTG FILES COMPLAINT AGAINST BOXER WITH THE COMPETITION AUTHORITY
Modern Times Group MTG AB, the international media group, today announced that it has filed a complaint against Boxer TV-Access AB with the Swedish Competition Authority for anti-competitive behaviour. The principal complaint is that Boxer requires MTG to accept extended and unwarranted commercial obligations as a pre-condition for giving the channels the technical distribution agreement needed to receive a license to broadcast in the digital terrestrial network.
In order to receive a license to broadcast in the digital terrestrial network, each TV channel has to sign an agreement with Boxer for the technical distribution in the digital terrestrial network, regarding encryption and electronic programme guide. MTG accepts this proposed agreement.
However, Boxer has refused to sign an agreement relating only to the technical specifications alone, as Boxer additionally requires each of the Viasat TV channels to sign a substantially extended agreement. This extended agreement includes a range of additional commercial commitments, which MTG rejects. These commitments include Boxer’s structure of the packages in which the Viasat TV channels are to be included, as well as the price at which the channels and the packages will be offered to television viewers. The consequence of this requirement is that the Viasat TV channels may not receive licenses for carriage in the digital terrestrial network if MTG does not accept Boxer’s anti-competitive terms.
MTG’s complaint to the Competition Authority is that the contract structure is illegal and requests the right to sign an agreement relating to the technical aspects of the carriage of its channels alone. Such an agreement is entirely in accordance with the regulations regarding the digital terrestrial network. MTG is therefore requesting that the Swedish Competition Authority impose a fine on Boxer for this anti-competitive practice and force Boxer to comply with the rules of the Competition Act.
Hans-Holger Albrecht, President and CEO of MTG, commented: “Boxer’s behaviour is illegal and is damaging the Swedish television industry. We are now asking the Competition Authority to force Boxer to stop breaking the Competition Act and to enable competition in the digital terrestrial network. Such competition will benefit Swedish television households by providing better quality television at a lower price than what Boxer current offer”.
For further information, please visit www.mtg.se, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or contact:
Hans-Holger Albrecht, President & CEO tel: +46 (0) 8 562 000 50
Anders Nilsson, CEO MTG Sweden tel: +46 (0) 736 99 2000
Henrik Persson, Investor & Press Enquiries tel: +44 (0) 20 7321 5010
MTG is an international media group with operations in more than 30 countries around the world and principal broadcasting businesses in Scandinavia, the Baltic States, Hungary and Russia. MTG is the largest Free-to-air and Pay-TV operator in the Nordic and Baltic regions and the largest commercial radio operator in Northern Europe. MTG’s Viasat channels reach over 50 million people in 14 countries every day and MTG Radio’s stations reach 2.7 million daily listeners. The Viasat Broadcasting DTH satellite TV platform offers digital multichannel TV packages of 48 own-produced and third party entertainment channels. MTG is a leading European direct response TV network operator, broadcasting home shopping channels into 100 million homes in 52 countries, as well as one of the world’s leading originators and producers of Reality TV formats and a global provider of subtitling and dubbing services to the entertainment industry.
Modern Times Group MTG AB class A and B shares are listed on the Stockholmsbörsen O-list (symbols: MTGA and MTGB) and MTG ADRs are listed on the Nasdaq National Market (symbol: MTGNY).
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