HomeSerie AItaly's antitrust rejects TIM, DAZN proposals over football streaming probe

Italy’s antitrust rejects TIM, DAZN proposals over football streaming probe

FILE PHOTO: Internet streaming service DAZN’s logo is pictured in its office in Tokyo, Japan March 21, 2017. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon/File Photo

MILAN (Reuters) – Italy’s antitrust body has rejected proposals by sport streaming service DAZN and its partner Telecom Italia (TIM) as it investigates their deal to distribute top flight football games in Italy, a document showed on Monday.

The Italian competition authority last year opened an investigation into the partnership, under which TIM secured the right to include DAZN’s video app in its set top box on an exclusive basis, paying an annual fee of 340 million euros ($354 million).

DAZN had previously bought the rights to screen Serie A football matches for three seasons until 2024 for 2.5 billion euros.

While not imposing any precautionary measures at the time, Italy’s antitrust pressed on with the probe, opened in response to complaints from TIM’s rivals as well as consumers groups.

Both TIM and DAZN had submitted proposals in order to try to allay the regulator’s concerns over a potential restriction of competition in the telecoms and pay TV markets.

But the Italian regulator ruled last week that the proposed remedies were not enough to address its concerns, a document seen by Reuters showed.

A TIM spokperson said the company was assessing next steps to take.

DAZN said in a statement it will continue to act in order to ensure the distribution agreement is compliant with existing competition rules.

The Italian regulator declined to comment.

Under existing Italian rules, the firms could face a fine of as much as 10% of their turnover if the authority decides they were in breach of antitrust rules.

Separately, the Italian antitrust body said it will complete the proceedings by March 31, 2023 from a previous deadline of June 30, 2022, another document seen by Reuters showed.

($1 = 0.9594 euros)

(Reporting by Elvira PollinaEditing by Keith Weir and David Evans)