Spasov & Bratanov acted for Nova and Net Info in a landmark antitrust case

Any success of our clients is important to us, but this case was of particular interest for the whole industry. CPC investigated the marketing policy of Nova Broadcasting Group EAD (“Nova”) and its affiliate Net Info AD regarding the so-called “cross-media discounts”, i.e. these are discounts provided to advertisers and advertising agencies for purchasing advertisements in more than one media (TV, radio, print, internet, etc.). The investigation started on the basis of the complaint of several providers of digital services, including online advertising, which alleged that cross media discounts impede the competition on the online advertising market by inducing the advertisers to buy both products (TV and online advertising) from one supplier rather than separately. CPC rejected the claim for prohibited agreement because of the control that Nova exercised over Net Info, which disqualified both companies as independent undertakings. The second claim for abuse of dominance was also rejected but following an analysis of both markets - TV and online advertising, which showed that none of our clients held a dominant position. Importantly, the decision of CPC acknowledged the strong presence of global online platforms, such as Google and Facebook, at the Bulgarian online advertising market and therefore finding of dominance on the part of a local company appears quite unlikely at this stage. With regard to the TV advertising market, CPC confirmed its position from previous cases that it is an oligopolistic market, where the two major players compete intensively against each other, but none of them dominates the market. Nova and Net Info were represented by the Managing Partner Georgi Spasov and the Senior Associate Kremena Yaneva - Ivanova.

Date: March 2020

Source: Spasov & Bratanov Lawyers' Partnership

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