A2000 asks for antitrust stay on fees

Hearing will be held Aug. 31

AMSTERDAM — United Pan-Europe Communications subsidiary A2000 has asked a judge in Holland to temporarily set aside a ruling by Dutch telecommunications antitrust authorities OPTA in the latest round of a long-standing feud over carriage fees and digital distribution between A2000 and Canal Plus Netherlands.

OPTA in mid-July ordered A2000, the largest of UPC’s cable holdings in Holland, to submit a bid to Canal Plus Netherlands for the digital transmission of the premium channel on its cable net. OPTA also ordered A2000 to start digital broadcasting by Sept. 15 of this year.

Canal Plus Netherlands also had asked the telecommunications authority to rule on carriage fees to which A2000 is entitled. A2000 has been dragged into court by many of the Dutch broadcasters for what nearly all of them have called “outrageous” fees.

A hearing will be held Aug. 31 to decide if A2000 must comply with the OPTA decision.

UPC, like its subsid based in Amsterdam, is known to be hunting for partners to build a pan-Euro digital distribution platform.

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