Stibbe represents Flemish Media Regulator

BE Law

Stibbe represented the Flemish Media Regulator before the Court of Appeal following a claim by various Belgian cable operators. These cable operators lodged appeal and suspension proceedings against the media regulator's decision to open up the Belgian cable network market.

This case deals with a decision of the four Belgian competent media regulators to liberalize the cable networks in Belgium. Competition law issues at stake include the definition of a geographic market, the presence of operators having significant market power, and the possible remedies as a consequence of this decision.

The judgments from the suspension proceedings dismissed all appeals. Moreover, one of the operators has filed an appeal before the Belgian Supreme Court (Hof van Cassatie/Cour de cassation). This is the first time in Europe that a national regulator has successfully taken a decision regarding the opening up of the cable market.

Following the favourable decision by the Court of Appeal, the regulators have recently published their provisions regarding the so-called ‘reference offering’, which stipulates parameters regarding quality and price for any potential new player on the Belgian cable network market.