Court of Appeal Dismisses Bookmakers’ Challenge to Racecourses’ Licensing of Media Rights

29 Jul 2009

The Court of Appeal has dismissed an appeal by a number of bookmakers challenging the lawfulness under Article 81(1) of arrangements between 30 British race courses for the licensing of their media rights to AMRAC, a joint venture 50% owned by the courses, which broadcasts the new Turf TV service showing live horseracing in betting shops.

The bookmakers argued that the collective and closed nature of the arrangements for the licensing of the courses’ media rights to their JV had the object and effect of restricting competition.  The Court of Appeal dismissed the bookmakers’ challenge, upholding the ruling at first instance, that the arrangements facilitated new entry and therefore introduced competition into markets which, prior to AMRAC’s entry, had been monopolised by a single broadcaster, SIS.  The Court of Appeal also held (overturning the judgment below on the point) that the racecourses do not compete with each other as regards the sale of their media rights.

Christopher Vajda QC, Valentina Sloane and Philip Woolfe appeared for the bookmakers.

Peter Roth QC, Paul Harris and Ronit Kreisberger appeared for AMRAC and the racecourses.

To read the judgment, please click here.

Please click below for more information on:
Paul Harris QC
Ronit Kreisberger
Valentina Sloane
Philip Woolfe