EC Sky decision expected 'shortly'

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Related tags: Premier league, European commission, Sky sports

Speculation is rising that the European Commission (EC) is about to break up the monopoly of football between the Premier League and Sky.Last week a...

Speculation is rising that the European Commission (EC) is about to break up the monopoly of football between the Premier League and Sky.

Last week a spokesman for the EC said its investigations into the Premier League's sale of live football rights to Sky would be over "very shortly".

She also warned that the Commission remained dissatisfied with the way the Premier League handled the sale of its television rights.

The problems began for the Premier League in October when European commissioner Mario Monti hit out at the £1.024bn TV deal struck between the Premier League and Sky in August.

At the time he said: "This is bad for competition on broadcasting markets and it is bad for consumers."

If the EC did break the monopoly it would please many licensees who have been outraged at Sky price hikes.

In July licensees faced a 22 per cent hike in Sky subscription costs, while the fee for its pay-per-view station Premiership Plus increased by up to 100 per cent a month later.

However, a spokesman for the Premier League said: "We haven't heard anything officially. The EC has said the conclusions will be coming out shortly, or in a few weeks".

Related articles:

European Commissioner may rule Sky deal 'unlawful' (12 November 2003)

Licensees' fury at Sky football deal (14 August 2003)

Sky gets Premier League football until May 2007 (11 August 2003)

Anger as Sky hikes up fees (3 July 2003)

Related topics: Sport

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