Qatar’s sports broadcaster beIN has launched a $1bn compensation claim against Saudi Arabia, accusing it of “breaching international law” in relation to the streaming of sporting events beIN owns the rights to.
Separately, on Monday, Qatar launched new proceedings against Saudi Arabia at the World Trade Organization (WTO), accusing the kingdom of intellectual property rights violations.
Both actions were announced in statements, although it is not clear where the compensation claim will be heard.
It is the latest escalation in the ongoing Gulf diplomatic crisis, which began on June 5, 2017, when Saudi Arabia, along with the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain and Egypt severed diplomatic and trade ties with Qatar, imposing a sweeping embargo on the gas-rich nation.
The blockading quartet accuses Qatar of having close ties to regional rival Iran and harbouring “terrorist groups” – allegations Doha strongly denies.
Qatar’s economy ministry said in a statement on Monday that its representatives submitted a formal request at the WTO headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, raising concerns over Saudi Arabia’s diplomatic, political and economic measures against Doha.
“Saudi Arabia’s actions represent not only a violation of Qatar’s trade rights, but also affects the rights of other trading partners,” Qatar’s economy ministry said.
“The new dispute focuses on violations with respect to protection of intellectual property rights in the kingdom,” it added.