Qatar’s BeIN loses appeal over $22m Egypt fine

BeIN was found to have breached anti-trust rules by forcing its Egyptian customers to replace their existing satellites to obtain BeIN services. (Reuters)
Updated 04 September 2018
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Qatar’s BeIN loses appeal over $22m Egypt fine

  • Competition authority praised the ruling and accused BeIN of abuse of its dominant position in the Egyptian market
  • In January, BeIN was also fined 400 million Egyptian pounds in a separate competition case

CAIRO: Qatari broadcaster BeIN has lost its appeal against a $22 million fine imposed by a Cairo court for breaching competition rules, Egyptian state media said Tuesday.
In March a Cairo economic court imposed a penalty of 400 million Egyptian pounds ($22.3 million) on BeIN and its chief executive, Nasser Al-Khelaifi, in a case brought by the Egyptian Competition Authority (ECA).
BeIN, known for broadcasting live football matches, was found to have breached anti-trust rules by forcing its Egyptian customers to replace their existing satellites to obtain BeIN services.
State-run Al-Ahram newspaper on Tuesday reported the fine had been upheld.
The ECA in a statement praised the ruling and accused BeIN of “abuse of its dominant position” in the Egyptian market.
In January, BeIN and Khelaifi were fined 400 million Egyptian pounds in a separate competition case.
The Cairo court said the firm had forced viewers to pay for events they may not be interested in, through its package deal system.
In both January and the subsequent ruling in March, BeIN rejected the decisions as having “no basis in fact or law.”
The Qatari firm was recently awarded exclusive rights to broadcast the English Premier League across the Middle East and North Africa for another three seasons.
Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates cut diplomatic and trade ties with Qatar in June last year, accusing Doha of supporting extremists and being too close to Iran.


Bloomberg, SRMG unveil branding for Arabic news service

Updated 17 September 2018
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Bloomberg, SRMG unveil branding for Arabic news service

  • The UAE-headquartered business platform will include a 24-hour television and radio network
  • Bloomberg Asharq will provide analysis on the companies, markets, economies, and social and political developments shaping the Middle East.

DUBAI: The Saudi Research and Marketing Group (SRMG) and Bloomberg revealed on Sunday the branding for a multi-platform Arabic-language business and financial news service, which will be headquartered in the UAE.

The platform has been renamed Bloomberg Asharq, the two parties said in a statement. It follows an agreement signed in September 2017 to launch a 24-hour television and radio network and digital platform, Bloomberg Businessweek magazine in Arabic and a conference and live events series. 

The platform was previously known as Bloomberg Al Arabiya.

The Bloomberg Asharq brand identity was unveiled by Peter Grauer, chairman of Bloomberg LP, and Dr. Ghassan Al-Shibl, chairman of SRMG, during a meeting in Dubai. 

Bloomberg Asharq will be headquartered in the UAE, with the main operation based in the Dubai International Financial Center (DIFC). 

It will also have a “major presence” in Abu Dhabi, Riyadh and Cairo, with studios in each city, along with a presence and coverage from across key regional and global capitals, according to the statement. 

The Bloomberg Asharq team will be managed by SRMG, which also runs publications including the Arabic daily Asharq Al-Awsat, Arab News, Aleqtisadiah and others.

It will be supported by Bloomberg’s extensive financial and economic content and market data, as well as news from its 2,700 journalists and analysts globally.

The platforms will provide analysis on the companies, markets, economies, and social and political developments shaping the Middle East. 

“With headquarters in the UAE, and a presence in Riyadh, Abu Dhabi, Cairo and many other regional capitals, Bloomberg Asharq will deliver coverage from all the major business and financial centers in the Middle East,” said Dr. Ghassan Al-Shibl, chairman of SRMG.

“This partnership will elevate news in the region to new levels, and will allow us to provide Arabic-speaking audiences in the region and beyond with the most up-to-date and relevant news as they make key investment decisions, and as the region continues its economic diversification. We are proud to use ‘Asharq’ (orient) in the name of this platform, to reflect the interest in the rapidly growing region.”

Justin B. Smith, CEO of Bloomberg Media Group, added: “This is an exciting new development as we move forward in our partnership with SRMG, as this multi-platform agreement is the most ambitious of its kind.

“It is partnerships like these that allow us to strengthen our presence in key growth markets, and this expansion across the Middle East is the latest development as part of our strategy to invent our way forward to become the most modern global media company.”