By: Reuters |

Revealed: July 14, 2020 9:25:11 pm

In 2018, Qatar filed a grievance with the WTO, saying Saudi Arabia was blocking beIN from broadcasting within the kingdom. (Supply: File Picture)

Saudi Arabia’s Normal Authority for Competitors (GAC) mentioned on Tuesday it had completely cancelled the licence of Qatari broadcaster beIN Sports activities, which has been barred from broadcasting within the kingdom since mid-2017 as a consequence of a dispute with Qatar.

GAC mentioned in a press release on its web site and carried by state tv that it was additionally fining beIN Sports activities 10 million riyals ($2.7 million) for alleged “monopolistic practices”.

There was no instant remark from Qatari authorities or beIN, which holds regional broadcasting rights for a number of main international sporting occasions and leisure exhibits.

The broadcaster initially blocked in Saudi Arabia below a boycott imposed when Riyadh and its allies severed diplomatic and commerce ties with Qatar in June 2017 over Doha’s alleged assist of terrorism, a cost Qatar denies.

GAC mentioned it discovered beIN Sports activities had “abused its dominant place by a number of monopolistic practices” associated to what it described as an unique sports activities broadcast bundle for the 2016 UEFA European Championship matches.

In 2018, Qatar filed a grievance with the World Commerce Group (WTO), saying Saudi Arabia was blocking beIN from broadcasting within the kingdom and mentioned it had refused to take efficient motion in opposition to alleged piracy of beIN’s content material by beoutQ, a commercial-scale pirating operation.

A WTO panel final month discovered that Saudi Arabia had breached international guidelines on mental property rights by failing to prosecute beoutQ, whereas supporting Saudi Arabia’s view that it might block the Qatari broadcaster from acquiring authorized counsel within the kingdom on grounds of nationwide safety.

BeoutQ is broadly accessible in Saudi Arabia however Riyadh has repeatedly mentioned it was not based mostly there and that it was dedicated to defending mental property. Reuters couldn’t decide who owns or operates beoutQ.

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