The EFTA Surveillance Authority has backed Canal Digital Norge in its agreement with Norway’s quasi-commercial channel TV2. Rival operator Viasat had complained that the exclusive agreement between Canal Digital’s DTH platform and TV2 had broken competition rules.
The dispute has been running for almost 10 years during which time Viasat has continued to hold back its own TV3 channels from Canal Digital. For its part the Telenor Broadcast-owned platform has also struck an exclusive agreement for the distribution of SBS channels Kanal 5 and TV Norge.
Contract renegotiations in 2003 and a tender procedure by TV2 in 2005 have failed to satisfy Viasat. A new tender process is under way.
The Brussels based EFTA Surveillance Authority monitors the free trade agreement between that Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway and the EU member states under the EEA Agreement.
In a letter to Canal Digital’s regional office in Oslo, the Authority said it could not be concluded that on the available evidence that an infringement of Article 53 or 54 of the EEA Agreement had taken place.
Viasat has subsequently informed the authority of its intention to close the case.