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Sports and competition

European competition law can no longer be ignored when regulating and financing the sports sector or when concluding commercial broadcasting, ticketing and sponsorship agreements.

In recent years, the European Commission’s competition law enforcement has started targeting the sports sector again.

This is first noticeable by the many decisions on State aid (concerning sports infrastructure and sports clubs) that have been taken since 2011. Sport has become ‘big business’ and its enhanced commercialisation and the increasing amounts at stake have boosted the number of complaints. This has also resulted in a significant number of antitrust cases, in particular against restrictive measures and abuses through the use of sports associations’ regulatory powers. In addition, broadcasting rights for sporting events have become a crucial source of funding for sports organisations and teams and have also attracted antitrust scrutiny.

The lawyers of the ATFIELD network member firms offer legal support in various ways (advice, compliance training, litigation services, the preparation of state aid notifications, the drafting of commercial agreements, etc.) to all actors (in different sports segments) who are affected by this increasing scrutiny, including: public authorities granting aid in the sports sector, sports federations, sports events organisers and broadcasters, clubs and athletes.

A team of specialists in the ATFIELD network has built up an in-depth knowledge of all aspects of Belgian and European competition law (including state aid, merger control, cartel cases, abuse of dominance, etc.) and regularly represents clients before the Belgian and European competition authorities and courts.

Our goal is to understand the businesses we are dealing with and to help clients achieve their objectives in a practical and compliant way.

ATFIELD can also rely on the sports and competition expertise of Carmen Verdonck (ALTIUS).

Atfield: Sports and competition

Aggregate years of experience in sports law our lawyers boast.


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