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15 Jan 2018

World Sailing conducts 'antitrust review' on equipment suppliers

The Olympic sailing events of men’s and women’s windsurfer and men’s and women’s one-person dinghy have been selected by World Sailing, the sport’s international governing body, for an ‘antitrust review’ this year to determine whether there is fair and open competition for the design and supply of equipment for the events.

World Sailing said: “In the Men's and Women's One Person Dinghy, the current equipment was originally selected for the Olympics in 1974 and has remained in place since then (with only limited manufacturers having legal IPR exclusivity to produce the equipment). In addition, World Sailing considers that the mechanisms governing the evolution of the current equipment are in need of review.

“In the Men's and Women's Windsurfer, the current equipment was originally selected in 2005 and has remained in place since then. A sole manufacturer has exclusivity to produce the equipment and therefore it is appropriate to review the Event.”

World Sailing said that the review would ensure that “sailors, Member National Authorities and Olympic teams are receiving a high-quality service and products from manufacturers at competitive market prices.”

It added: “Together with World Sailing's new enhanced Olympic Classes Contract, these measures strengthen World Sailing's compliance with EU competition law.”

Under the review process, existing equipment suppliers, along with new ones, will be allowed to tender for their equipment to be included in the games.

World Sailing concluded: “The tender process will review all aspects of the equipment (including suitability for the Olympic Event and its competitors, prices, manufacturing, availability and supply around the world). This will ensure that the risk of monopolies is reduced and ensures that manufacturers do not become complacent, remain price-competitive and produce high-quality equipment.”