London – 20 November – LAWFUEL – The Law News Network – The FA Premier League (“FAPL”) and the European Commission announced yesterday that they had reached a settlement of the Commission’s investigation into the joint selling of the FAPL’s media rights, which was opened in 2001.
The settlement involves the FAPL giving to the Commission a set of commitments as to the domestic rights packages which it will offer for the 2007/8 season onwards and as to the bidding process by which the FAPL will sell those rights packages. The terms of those commitments were yesterday approved by the FAPL’s member clubs but remain subject to ratification by the College of Commissioners.
DLA Piper Rudnick Gray Cary (“DLA Piper”) media partner, Nick West, led the legal team acting on behalf of the FAPL in relation to the settlement negotiations. Nick, together with media assistant Simon Parry, advised the FAPL in relation to all aspects of the settlement. This included advice on the extent and implications of the concessions necessary to meet the Commission’s competition concerns, the commercial and regulatory considerations relevant to the negotiations, the tailoring of the FAPL’s rights packages, the drafting of written submissions to the Commission and the drafting of the commitments which are to be given to the Commission as part of the settlement.
The legal team also included Denton Wilde Sapte competition partner, Jonathan Tatten, and his assistant, Alex Haffner.
Nick West commented: “This settlement will (upon ratification) be the product of a great deal of hard work over a number of years and will enable the FAPL to offer to the market an attractive set of rights packages for 2007 onwards. I am delighted to have assisted the FAPL in achieving what would be a satisfactory outcome for all concerned.”