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Mediapro, Real Madrid and Barcelona fined by Spanish regulator

The Comisión Nacional de la Competencia, Spain’s competition authority, has imposed fines totalling about €15m ($20.3m) on the Mediapro agency and four football clubs, including Real Madrid and Barcelona, for having signed media rights deals that run for longer than three seasons.

Mediapro, which agreed the deals with all of the clubs involved, received the largest fine of €6.57m.

Real Madrid and Barcelona were fined €3.9m and €3.6m, respectively, while top-tier Liga rival Sevilla was fined €900,000. Racing Santander, which currently competes in the Segunda División B, the third tier of Spanish football, was fined €30,000.

The regulator said that it had taken into account the value of the deals and the turnover of the companies involved in setting the fines for the “very serious infringements.”

The watchdog began disciplinary proceedings against Mediapro, Barcelona, Sevilla and Racing Santander in May 2012. Real Madrid was added to the disciplinary process in June of this year.

All of the parties were accused of contravening an April 2010 resolution by the regulator’s council. The resolution barred clubs and media companies from agreeing rights deals for league and cup games that run for more than three seasons, with the exception of the final of the Copa del Rey knockout competition.

Mediapro said last year that the resolution was “blatantly incompatible” with Spain’s general broadcasting law.