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Olympic events under Antitrust review

Published on January 12th, 2018

(January 12, 2018) – Following the adoption of World Sailing’s new Antitrust Policy in November 2017, World Sailing has now selected the initial Olympic Events which will undergo an antitrust review in 2018.

World Sailing has decided at this time to review the Men and Women’s Windsurfer and the Men and Women’s One Person Dinghy.

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.

The purpose of a review is to ensure there is fair and open competition at regular intervals for the equipment for an Olympic Event. This ensures that sailors, Member National Authorities and Olympic teams are receiving a high-quality service and products from manufacturers at competitive market prices.

Together with World Sailing’s new enhanced Olympic Classes Contract, these measures strengthen World Sailing’s compliance with EU competition law.

The antitrust review procedures are separate from the ongoing sport review of the Events and Equipment for the 2024 Olympic Competition announced recently. For further details of that process, including how the two review process will work alongside each other, click here.

The review process will allow the existing Olympic Equipment for the Event, along with any new Classes or manufacturers who wish to have their equipment included in the Olympic Games, to tender for inclusion.

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.

The procedures and criteria for the re-evaluation will be approved and published by World Sailing at its Mid-Year Meetings in May 2018 and the final outcome of the review will be decided in November 2018.

Editor’s note: Hopefully this review will result in an epiphany for LaserPerformance, which manufactures the equipment used in the Men’s and Women’s One Person Dinghy events. Their resistance to being a reliable supplier for North American sailors has gone on far too long, and any agreement for the Laser and Laser Radial to be selected for the Paris 2024Games must be contingent on this problem being resolved.

Source: World Sailing

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