Following on from our previous post about their enforcement decision, the Competition Authority released their full findings in relation to RTÉ’s practice of pricing television airtime based on the share it receives of an advertiser’s TV budget. As RTÉ have agreed to cease this trading practice from the 1st July 2012, the Competition Authority decided to close the investigation. Their findings showed that the Share Deal “could amount to unlawful conduct” but that only a court could reach a definitive decision and this was not required as the share policy will cease. The findings went into some details on the “loyalty-inducing effects of the share deal” and it will be interesting to understand RTÉ’s interpretation of the findings and how this will impact on their trading policy going forward. What is very clear is that RTÉ have given a legally binding undertaking to replace the current trading system.
The enforcement decision in full, along with the agreement and undertakings of RTÉ, can be found here.
Ciaran Cunningham – CEO