Live streaming service Twitch, a subsidiary of Amazon, is being sued by a Russian internet service provider, Rambler Group, for $3 BILLION over illegally streamed English Premier League soccer games. That’s BILLION with a B.
Rambler Group, Russia’s third-largest internet company, filed the lawsuit because it alleges the company’s exclusive broadcasting rights of the EPL were breached by Twitch more than 36,000 times between August and November, according to the BBC. That number seems low.
In addition to the $3 BILLION Rambler Group is seeking in damages, the company is also requesting that Twitch be permanently banned in Russia. Amazon purchased Twitch in 2014 for $970 million.
Were that to occur it would have a massive effect of Twitch’s bottom line as Russia is the third-largest user of the live-streaming service in the world.
“Our suit against Twitch is to defend our exclusive rights to broadcast English Premier League matches and we will continue to actively combat pirate broadcasts,” Mikhail Gershkovich, head of Rambler Group’s sports project, said in a statement.
Twitch attorney Julianna Tabastaeva called the lawsuit by Rambler “unfounded” and told Russian news site Kommersant Twitch “only provides users with access to the platform and is unable to change the content posted by users, or track possible violations.”
Tabastaeva also stated that Twitch took “all necessary measures to eliminate the violations, despite not receiving any official notification from Rambler.”
Moscow City Court will be hearing the case on December 20th and has ordered a temporary suspension of English Premier League streams on Twitch in Russia until the lawsuit is settled.