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Parliamentary questions
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27 September 2018
Answer given by Ms Vestager on behalf of the European Commission
Question reference: P-003773/2018

On the basis of EU Courts case law, sporting rules set up by sports federations are subject to EU antitrust rules when the federations, or the companies and persons affected by the rules, are engaged in an economic activity.

That said, restrictive sporting rules are compatible with EC law if they pursue a legitimate objective and if the restrictions that they create are inherent and proportionate to reaching this objective.

In its decision of 8 December 2017, the Commission confirmed that competition rules apply to sport and recognised the role and the autonomy of international sport federations in pursuing the legitimate objective of safeguarding the integrity, health, safety and the proper functioning of sport.

The Commission's decision acknowledged that setting the calendar of competitions may be one of the measures that federations may take to ensure that sport functions properly, depending on the characteristics of the respective sport.

However, in order to be in line with competition rules such measures must be proportionate, be based on clear, objective and non-discriminatory criteria and not serve as a means to exclude competitors from the market.

The Commission continues to be of the opinion that, within this framework, sport stakeholders must live up to their responsibilities and find solutions and mechanisms for solving disputes that deliver the results that the public and the athletes deserve.

The Commission will continue to monitor the behaviour of the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) and the Euroleague Commercial Assets (ECA) closely.

Last updated: 28 September 2018Legal notice - Privacy policy