A few days ago UMB posted an article at UMB’s web site under the title – PBA Complaint against UMB – EU-Commission closed the case -.
In that article UMB says “the complaint submitted in September 2019, by the Professional Billiard Association (PBA), the Korean Billiard Players Association (KBPA) and twenty-two (22) individually named Billiard Players against UMB, has been dismissed and closed.
Following that (UMB’s) announcment PBA sent the following press release saying that UMB’s and Kozoom’s announcmenet is not true.
The PBA‘s Press release
UMB and Kozoom’s Announcement on EC (European Commission) lawsuit dismissal is NOT True
EC Case Team confirms that
– The case has been closed by the PBA’s own withdrawal request,
– PBA did NOT lose NOR got rejected,
– And clearly verified that EC did NOT take UMB’s side.
PBA makes an official announcement today with explanations on current circumstance as follows regarding the published articles on June 29th/2020 by billiards related press. The published articles reflect the unilateral comprehension (by the UMB, KBF, and other related organisations) of the lawsuit filed to the European Commission on the anti-trust complaint.
– As Follows –
1. In February 2020, PBA had voluntarily withdrawn from the lawsuit against the UMB at the European Commission (regarding the issue of anti-trust complaint). In addition, as of March 11th/2020, the withdrawal of the lawsuit case (which the PBA, Korean and International Players, were involved in) has been ordered through a Belgian lawyer representing the PBA. Thus, PBA received a confirmation document on March 12th that the PBA has voluntarily withdrawn from the case filed at the EC.
2. PBA has requested EC Case Team’s confirmation regarding recent UMB official announcement and Kozoom press release, and officially received pertaining reply on July 1st/2020.
Main contents of the reply from the EC Case Team are as follows, clearly confirming the facts that:
PBA clearly made a voluntary withdrawal from the case.
Accordingly, the EC concluded the case as “closed”
Following the custom, it was notified to the UMB legal representative that the administrative procedure for the case has been stopped and closed, and this means that there are no more related cases pending in the EC, and does NOT mean that EC has conducted an investigation nor rejected the case regarding the result of investigation.
Thus, it is clearly a misinterpretation of the UMB that the EC approved the legitimacy of the UMB’s Statutes, Regulations, and decision.
3. Reasons for the PBA voluntarily withdrawing from the case are that:
EC is an international court that deals with the benefits of the community, so it is considered that the complaint against the UMB is not a significant case.
EC has already made a judgement on the precedent case of sports anti-trust regarding the ISU (International Skating Union) in 2017. Therefore, EC said that the PBA’s case can be referred to the judgement of that case regarding the world sports entities’ anti-trust policy.
EC recommended that the PBA and UMB can result in a good faith negotiation and promote win-win coexisting measures.
Nevertheless, if the dispute is not solved, EC recommended that it would be better to proceed the complaint and the lawsuit in a national court.
4. Also, as the UMB had sent an official letter to the PBA on Feb 2nd/2020 requesting to re-open the dialogue between parties and wished to do business between the UMB and PBA regardless of the existing contract with the Kozoom. PBA has accepted to have an official meeting with the UMB on March 6th/2020. However, the meeting has been cancelled due to the COVID-19.
5. In addition, PBA already shared the fact with the KBF in February that PBA has withdrawn from the lawsuit filed at the EC, when PBA was in the process of promoting Co-prosperity Agreement with the KBF. Naturally, many people related to billiards, not only in Korea but also internationally, were well aware of this fact.
6. PBA did pursue a Co-prosperity Agreement with the KBF with an open-minded manner, although it has ultimately failed. However, despite PBA being always prepared to reconcile with the UMB and KBF, right before the start of the opening tour of PBA’s new season, the UMB has suddenly made an official announcement that the PBA’s complaint was rejected, stating that all the UMB’s decisions were right. Following this, the Kozoom also made a press release saying that “UMB concludes that the decision taken by the European Commission has confirmed its position and direction regarding the application of its Statutes and Rules,” which is actually far from truth.
PBA deeply regrets that the UMB provided the press its unilateral interpretation, by using the term that the UMB has “won” the case and interpreted the closing of the case arbitrarily, despite the fact that the closing of the case is not a matter of winning or losing.
7. Also, PBA is trying its best to develop the billiards sports itself with absolute majority of players and billiards related people as an organisation, not as a private company. Thus, PBA considers that it is a crucial damage to PBA’s reputation and insulting the PBA by Kozoom’s press release that stated, “PBA is a private company that arbitrarily established the Professional Billiards Association and took away the players, which are assets of the UMB.”
8. PBA officially announces today that it will explain every detail to the PBA players, considering the fact that this can seriously harm the PBA players’ reputation. Also, as recommended by EC, PBA will review all means of legal procedures through the court of individual countries.
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