CAF Fined for Breach of Regional Regulations

The COMESA Competition Commission has imposed a fine of USD$300, 000 each on the Confederation of African Football (CAF) and BEIN Media Group LLC (beIN) for breach of the COMESA competition regulations.

This follows the findings of the Commission’s Committee Responsible for Initial Determinations (the CID) that certain provisions of the beIN Agreements were in violation of Article 16 of the Regulations.

A Statement issued by CCC on 25 January 2024 states that, the lack of an open tender process for the award of the pay-TV broadcast rights for CAF competitions resulted in a significant prevention, restriction or distortion of competition within the Common Market.

In 2017, the Commission initiated an investigation against CAF in relation to agreements concluded with third parties for the commercialisation of rights pertaining to the CAF football competitions.

In 2019, the Commission issued notices of investigation against Lagardere Sports S.A.S and beIN, in connection with two Memoranda of Understanding entered into between Lagardere Sports and beIN in 2014 and 2016 respectively for the commercialisation of media rights of football competitions organised by CAF.

On 22 December 2023, the Commission’s CID stated that having regard to the fact that the CAF competitions were held annually or every two years, the duration of the exclusive beIN Agreements were disproportionately long and increased the likelihood of market foreclosure.