Bundeskartellamt Press Release 21 December 2017: Follow up to the post of 7 December 2017 by Prof Dr Ian Blackshaw on the legal challenge by the German Federal Anti-Trust Authority (Bundeskartellamt) regarding the IOC restrictions on Olympic athletes’ marketing rights.

Bundeskartellamt / Sport

Market test on commitments of DOSB and IOC Bonn, 21 December 2017: The Bundeskartellamt is currently conducting an administrative proceeding against the German Olympic Sports Confederation (Deutscher Olympischer Sportbund, DOSB) and the International Olympic Committee (IOC). The Bundeskartellamt suspects that the current application of Rule 40 of the Olympic Charter for athletes and sponsors in Germany restricts competition and that DOSB and IOC are abusing their dominant position. The proceeding was initiated on the basis of a complaint by the Federal Association of the German Sports Goods Industry and in connection with press reports on the last Olympic Games.

Andreas Mundt, President of Bundeskartellamt: “According to our assessment the rules of DOSB and IOC are too restrictive. The advertising restrictions on athletes and companies can constitute an abuse of the dominant position of DOSB and IOC. Account has to be taken of the fact that the athletes as the performers in the Olympic Games do not benefit directly from the very high advertising revenues generated by the official Olympic sponsors. In response to our concerns about competition DOSB and IOC have proposed amendments to their rules which offer more scope for action. We will now present these commitments to various companies, associations and also athletes for their comments. Nevertheless, the revised DOSB rules can be provisionally used in the run up to the coming Winter Games in Pyeongchang.