Qatar's BeIN loses appeal over $22m Egypt fine
CAIRO (AFP) -
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 competitio n 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.
Qatar denies the allegations and accuses its rival of seeking regime change.
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