Canal+ has declared victory in its court action against a deal struck between European competition regulators and Paramount Pictures.
In 2016, the US studio had agreed to scrap movie-licensing deals with Sky in return for the EU dropping an investigation into the geoblocking of its content. It represented a major win for the European Commission that had sought to prevent companies from restricting the purchase of goods or services from one country in another.
Subsequently, similar deals were agreed between the Commission and Disney, NBCUniversal, Sony Pictures, Warner Bros and Sky, while subscribers to pay-TV services were allowed to view their subscriptions while travelling outside the country of origin.
However, it also brought an end to agreements between the studios and European broadcasters like Canal.
The paybox took its complaint, first to the General Court, Europe’s second highest, in Luxembourg and later to the EU Court of Justice. It argued that the agreement with Paramount breached the rights of others, but that its own agreement with the studio could be justified by intellectual property laws.
The Court agreed.