Paris Court of Appeal finds for Aston in Canal Ready case

DetailsEditor | 28 January 2015

In the latest twist in a convoluted legal battle, the Paris Court of Appeal has found for set-top box (STB) manufacturer Aston in its row with French pay-TV giant Canal+.

Aston works with key partners to develop platforms offering VOD, catch-up TV, connected TV solutions and HbbTV, and also develops advanced solutions for multi-room and multiscreen applications as well as PCMCIA modules and consumer secure CI/CI+ 1.3 CAMs.

Its row with Canal+ began when Aston contested the unilateral decision of the Canal+ Group to terminate the Canal READY label contract linking the two companies, believing that this decision violated the basic rules of free competition in the market by abusing the market dominance of the Canal+ Group.

Having taken the issue to Appeal, the Paris court found in favour of Aston and quashed Canal+ Group's termination of the partnership agreement with Aston and Canal+ Group's decision forcing the cessation of the manufacture of Canal READY labelled STBs from 15 October 2014, and also declared null and void Canal+ Group's decision to withdraw Aston's authorisation to sell its existing stock of Canal READY-labelled STBs. The Canal+ Group's decision to stop marketing standalone cards in 2016 also ceases to have effect.

These suspension orders will remain in force until the final judgment is given concerning the Canal+ Group's alleged abuse of its dominant position.

In a statement commenting on the decision, Aston said that it continues to defend freedom of choice for consumers, and in particular for subscribers of the Canal+ Group, enabling them to purchase Canal READY-labelled decoders.