On 18 June 2009 Competition Council (CC) fined VIASAT AS (Estonia) and TV3 Latvia Ltd. for the abuse of dominant position in the market of distribution of television channel TV3 on the territory of Latvia. Both companies have to pay fines in the amount of € 67 400 and € 56 915 accordingly.
Channel TV3 has been recognized as unique and irreplaceable due to its language (it is one out of two general content commercial channels using Latvian language), content (has exclusive contracts for broadcasting of several sport championship s that are popular in Latvia) and capability to cover all the territory – all these factors were considered essential for the viewers, who are clients of the commercial TV operators.
Rights to distribute television channel TV3 (on the wholesale level to other commercial TV operators) are owned by VIASAT AS and TV3 Latvia Ltd. These companies also implement common strategy of this distribution. Being the only distributors of this channel VIASAT AS and TV3 Latvia offered to buy rebroadcasting licence bundled together with four other TV channels. For one of its cooperation partners VIASAT AS offered rebroadcasting licence of the channel TV3 only within a channel package VIASAT GOLD also stating that channels form this package can not be used within any other channel package.
To ensure elimination of the established violations and further violation relapse CC imposed a legal obligation stating that both companies have to ensure possibility to purchase rebroadcasting licence of channel TV3 separately from any other TV channels and to inform about this possibility their cooperation partners.