Bulgarian anti-monopoly watchdog, the Commission for Protection of Competition (CPC), has imposed a BGN887,260 (USD581,511) fine on internet service provider (ISP) Blizoo ‘for unfair competitive practices’ with its Decision No.1322/8.10.2014. The CPC noted that the penalty represents 1% of the operator’s net revenue for 2013.
The regulator observed that from the end of 2012 Blizoo’s double-play plan (including 140 TV channels and 50Mbps broadband access) was bolstered with an add-on ‘HD Super Sport’ package (including five sports channels) for a twelve or 18 month subscription period. However, in July 2013 the operator ceased broadcasting four of the HD Super Sport channels without notifying its subscribers, while introducing another promotional package – HD Select – which included the same sports channels as HD Super Sport. As such, subscribers to the original double-play plan were required to pay extra in order to continue watching the channels that were initially included in their subscription bundles. The CPC said that the move was in a direct breach of Article 29 of the Law on Competition. The company may appeal the sanction to the Supreme Administrative Court within 14 days.