Dr. Ranke


In Case C-132/19 P, the ECJ has annulled the EU Commission's decision declaring the commitments of Paramount Pictures International Ltd on so-called geoblocking legally binding. This was announced by the court in a press release (No. 157/2020 of 09.12.2020).

The background to the proceedings is a dispute between the EU Commission and Paramount Pictures International Ltd on the controversial geoblocking, which has been ongoing for years. As a result of the competition violations complained of, the EU Commission had declared the film production company's commitments to waive certain clauses in the future to be legally binding. Specifically, Paramount had assured that it would no longer comply with certain contractual agreements on geoblocking. One of the contractual partners, the French pay TV provider Canal+, objected to this because it did not feel bound by the declaration.

The ECJ has now upheld this in its decision. The Commission's declaration was unlawful because it did not sufficiently take into account the interests of third parties, in particular Paramount's contractual partners. On the contrary, the Commission's decision had undermined significant rights of the contractual partners.

In this context, we refer to the Regulation for Cross-Border Portability of Online Content Services in the Single Market (Portability Regulation - Regulation (EU) 2017/1128), which was officially adopted by the EU Council of Ministers in 2018 and was also the subject of the reasons for the judgment.

Lawyer Dr. Ranke together with his co-author lawyer and Senior Legal Counsel of Sportradar AG, Moritz Glöckler already informed about the content and effects of the Portability Regulation for rights holders, online content providers, subscribers and the agreement of territorial licenses in 2017. Please read MMR 2017, 378 et seq.

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