Telekom seeks nullity of contract with POP TV, Kanal A, refund

Ljubljana – Telekom Slovenije, the state-owned telecoms operator, has filed a lawsuit against the country’s largest commercial TV channels, POP TV and Kanal A, in a bid to nullify an agreement under which it pays the broadcasters to include the programmes in its TV package. It is also seeking to recover EUR 12.4 million in payments it made to them since 2017.

The lawsuit, filed late last year and first revealed by the portal Požareport, claims that Telekom has been paying the two broadcasters an excess price for their programming, which it says is the result of their abuse of dominant position on the wholesale TV programming market.

Being the most watched TV programmes, they are part of the basic TV package of telecoms operators, whereby Pro Plus, their parent company, took advantage of that by offering them exclusively in a package with three other programmes they produce.

Telekom claims these three programmes could be included in add-on premium packages, but the agreement stipulates that all of them need to be included in all of Telekom’s TV packages. The suit says Telekom has been paying EUR 480,000 per month for the TV programmes.

The operator says a fair price would be EUR 1.7 per subscriber, while it is currently paying EUR 2.85 per subscriber under the existing agreement, which expires at the end of the year.

Telekom also claims Pro Plus was treating other operators differently and proposes that the court demand it hand over agreements it has with rival operators Telemach, A1 and T-2.

Operators have been paying for POP TV and Kanal A since 2017, when the two broadcasters stopped terrestrial broadcasting. The decision led to higher prices of TV packages as all operators decided to include them in their TV packages given their high ratings.