January 15 – Premier League match data controllers have been ordered to pay legal costs of £215,000 to another data group in the latest twist of a long-running dispute over access to matches to collect live data.
The award against Football Dataco (the company responsible for commercialising Premier League match data), Betgenius and Genius Sports Group, was made after they lost their appeal against Sportradar to transfer the claim from the Competition Appeal Tribunal to the High Court.
Sportradar issued their original claim in the Competition Appeal Tribunal against Football DataCo (FDC) and Betgenius in February 2020, challenging the legality of the FDC granting an exclusive right to Betgenius to collect, collate and supply data in-stadia from Premier League, English Football League and Scottish Professional Football League.
That data is on-sold to bookmakers for live, or in-play, betting. In granting the rights Sportradar scouts were excluded from stadia, preventing them from collecting their own data from matches for their own bookmaker clients.
While Sportradar does not dispute the existence of the property rights of clubs, or their right to impose terms and conditions of entry they do argue that this use of private law rights in effect creates an exclusive agreement which violates competition law.
Their argument was that the case should be continued to be heard in the competition court rather than in the High Court.
David Lampitt, managing director, Sports Partnerships at Sportradar, said: “As the Tribunal has clearly stated, the dispute manifestly depends on questions of competition law, and private law rights cannot be relied on to give effect to an exclusive agreement which violates competition law. We welcome the fact that the Competition Appeal Tribunal’s judgment has upheld Sportradar’s submissions, and that the competition law claim will proceed to be determined first and in the specialist forum.”
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