All Sports Media resolves Spanish competition law investigation into broadcasting rights for bullfights
Clients All Sports Media 66, S.L.
Jones Day assisted All Sports Media (ASM), a sports rights agent, in successfully resolving an investigation by the Spanish Competition Authority (CNC) into the TV broadcasting rights of Spanish bullfighters. At the end of 2011, ASM acquired the exclusive rights to broadcast nine of the top ten Spanish bullfights for a three-year period. Following a claim by the Spanish Association of bullfighting events that alleged that ASM was bundling the rights of the various bullfighters, the CNC opened an investigation against both ASM and the bullfighters to examine the alleged bundling practices and the potential selling power of ASM.
ASM was able to settle the case by convincing the CNC that its perceived selling power could not be exercised, and by offering to change its business structure so that ASM is the agent, not the owner, of the broadcasting rights. With Jones Day's assistance, ASM also implemented its new business model and negotiated a reasonable compensation scheme for incorporating the necessary modifications to or termination of the existing agreements with the bullfighters. This case, which was closely followed by the media due to the celebrity of the bullfighters involved, is the first time that antitrust law has been applied to bullfighters in Spain.