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.


US judge orders White House to restore press pass to CNN’s Acosta

Updated 16 November 2018
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US judge orders White House to restore press pass to CNN’s Acosta

  • CNN said in a statement on Friday that it “looked forward to a full resolution in the coming days”
  • White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement that Acosta’s credentials would be temporarily restored

WASHINGTON: A US judge on Friday ordered the White House to temporarily restore CNN correspondent Jim Acosta’s press pass, which was revoked after a contentious press conference last week with President Donald Trump.
The White House withdrew Acosta’s credentials last Wednesday in an escalation of the Republican president’s attacks on the news media, which he has called the “enemy of the people.”
US District Judge Timothy Kelly, who is hearing CNN’s lawsuit challenging the revocation, said Acosta’s credentials must be restored while the network’s case is pending.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement that Acosta’s credentials would be temporarily restored.
“Let’s go back to work,” Acosta said to reporters after the hearing.
But Trump said that “people have to behave” and warned of future court action against reporters who do not.
“If they don’t listen to the rules and regulations, we’ll end up back in court and we’ll win,” Trump said on Friday. “But more importantly, we’ll just leave. And then you won’t be very happy, because we do get good ratings.”
CNN said in a statement on Friday that it “looked forward to a full resolution in the coming days.”
In its lawsuit filed on Tuesday in US District Court in Washington, CNN said the White House violated the First Amendment right to free speech as well as the due process clause of the Constitution providing fair treatment through judicial process. The network asked for a temporary restraining order.
Kelly, a Trump appointee, did not address the First Amendment’s protections for freedom of speech and the press, focusing instead on the due process provision.
“Whatever process occurred within the government is still so shrouded in mystery that the government at oral argument could not tell me who made the initial decision to revoke Mr. Acosta’s press pass,” Kelly said in his verbal ruling.
In court, US government lawyers said there is no First Amendment right of access to the White House and that Acosta was penalized for acting rudely at the conference and not for his criticisms of the president.
The judge said White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders’ initial statement that Acosta was penalized for touching a White House staffer attempting to remove his microphone was “likely untrue and at least partly based on evidence that was of questionable accuracy.”
The day after the Nov. 6 congressional elections, Trump erupted into anger during the news conference when Acosta questioned him about the Russia probe and a migrant caravan traveling through Mexico.
“That’s enough, that’s enough,” Trump told Acosta, as a White House staffer attempted to take the microphone away from the correspondent. “You are a rude, terrible person.”
Sanders had accused Acosta of “placing his hands on a young woman just trying to do her job as a White House intern” and of preventing other reporters from asking questions at the news conference. She called his behavior “absolutely unacceptable.”
Videos of the encounter show Acosta pulling back as the staffer moved to take the microphone at the press conference.
On Friday, Sanders said the White House “will also further develop rules and processes to ensure fair and orderly press conferences in the future. There must be decorum at the White House.”