Broadcasting & Mergers

Mergers

The French Competition Authority again conditionally clears a merger in the TV-broadcasting sector (Canal Plus / D8 and D17 TV Channels)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Press Release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. The Autorité de la concurrence again clears, subject to remedies, the acquisition of D8 and D17 by Vivendi and Groupe Canal Plus.* The commitments made by GCP and Vivendi are identical to those made at the (...)

The German Competition Authority clears the acquisition by paid TV service supplier of a minority share in TV-sports channel (Sky / Sport1 and Con­stan­tin Sport Mar­ke­ting)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Merger cleared - Sky may acquire a participation in Sport1* Today the Bundeskartellamt cleared the acquisition of a minority share in the sports channel Sport1 by Sky Deutschland. The transaction also involves the acquisition of a minority share in Constantin Sport Marketing GmbH (CSM) and the (...)

The French Competition Authority conditionally clears an acquisition of sole control on the pay-TV market (Mediaserv / Canal Plus Overseas)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Press Release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. Subject to a number of commitments, the Autorité de la concurrence has cleared the acquisition of Mediaserv by Canal Plus Overseas, a subsidiary of the Canal Plus Group* The Autorité de la concurrence has (...)

The upper house of the UK Parliament proposes that Ofcom should be allocated decision-making power in mergers raising potential media plurality concerns
UEA law school - Centre for Competition Policy
Article published on Centre for Competition Policy blog. Ofcom: A Credible Solution to Bias in Media Public Interest Mergers?* On 4 February, the House of Lords Select Committee on Communications published its Report on Media Plurality proposing a number of changes to media ownership (...)

The French Competition Authority requests consultation in relation to commitments proposed for a notified acquisition in the TV-broadcasting sector (Canal Plus / D8 and D17 TV Channels)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Press release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. Canal Plus has just renotified the acquisition of D8 and D17 TV channels. The Autorité de la concurrence has decided to seek sector-specific regulators’ and market players’ views on the new draft commitments* (...)

The German Competition Authority prohibits a merger between two major TV-cable network operators (Tele Columbus / Kabel Deutschland)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Bundeskartellamt prohibits takeover of Tele Columbus by Kabel Deutschland* The Bundeskartellamt has prohibited plans by Kabel Deutschland Holding AG (KDG) to acquire the cable network operator Tele Columbus GmbH. Andreas Mundt, President of the Bundeskartellamt: ""After intensive (...)

The French Constitutional Council upholds the constitutionality of the French Competition Authority’s power to withdraw merger clearance decisions and of its internal organisation (Canal +, Vivendi)
Herbert Smith Freehills (Paris)
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Following a request for a preliminary ruling on constitutionality by Groupe Canal Plus (“Canal Plus”) and Vivendi Universal (“Vivendi”, parent company of Canal Plus), on 12 October 2012 the French Constitutional Council upheld the constitutionality of the power of the French Competition Authority (...)

The French Competition Authority clears, subject to conditions, a merger in the television sector (Canal Plus / Direct 8)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Press Release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. The Autorité de la concurrence clears the acquisition of Direct 8 and Direct Star by Vivendi and Groupe Canal Plus, subject to conditions* On 23 July 2012, the Autorité de la concurrence cleared the acquisition (...)

The French Competition Authority fines two media groups for violating merger remedies in the satellite TV sector (TPS / Canal Sat)
EDHEC (Nice)
Summary The merger between TPS and Canal Satellite, Vivendi Universal and Canal plus Group’s satellite television subsidiary, was cancelled and the companies had to pay a 30 million euro fine and re-submit their merger. Facts In 2006, Canal plus group and Vivendi Universal group decided to (...)

The Polish Competition Authority conditionally approves a concentration in the cable TV market (UPC Polska/Aster)
Hogan Lovells (Warsaw)
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Hogan Lovells (Warsaw)
Background On 5th September 2011, the President of the Office for Competition and Consumers Protection (the «OCCP«) issued an administrative decision approving the acquisition of Aster by UPC Polska («UPC«). As a result of the merger UPC will achieve a substantial market position in the area of (...)

The German Federal Cartel Office blocks a joint‐venture for the creation of an online video on demand platform by the two leading German TV broadcasters (RTL / Pro7Sat1)
NOCON
I. Transaction RTL and Pro7Sat1 planned to set up an online video on demand (VOD) platform which allows users toaccess and watch professional video content. The concept of the platform was to provide content that has already been transmitted on TV and can be accessed free of cost for seven (...)

The Spanish Competition Authority clears the acquisition of sole control of a rival TV channel subject to remedies (TV Channel Cuatro/Telecinco)
Hogan Lovells (Madrid)
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Linklaters (Madrid)
On 28 October 2010, after a long and complex process, the Council of the National Competition Commission ("the NCC") authorised the acquisition by the TV operator Gestevisión Telecinco, S.A. ("Telecinco") of sole control of rival TV channel Cuatro in a decision that has had an important impact (...)

The Paris Court of Appeal narrows the scope for procedural challenges to a decision of the national competition authority (Canal 9/Les Indépendants)
University College London
On 1 June 2010, the Paris Court of Appeal (Court of Appeal) handed down a judgment upholding the decision of the Conseil de la Concurrence (now the Autorité de la Concurrence) in the long running case La Société Canal 9 S.A.S. v Le G.I.E. Les Indépendants. The Court found that the failure of the (...)

The French Council of State confirms the clearance of a merger in the free TV sector (TF1/NT1/Monte-Carlo Participations)
Herbert Smith Freehills (Paris)
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Background On 26 January 2010, the French Competition Authority (the “FCA”) authorized the acquisition by TF1 group (“TF1”), the parent company of leading free TV channel TF1, of sole control over NT1 and TMC, two free Digital Terrestrial Television channels ("DTT channels"). Prior to this (...)

The Brussels Court of Appeal annuls a decision of the Competition Council which lifted a must-offer obligation previously imposed on a TV operator as a merger remedy (Telenet, Canal+)
Corsan
This decision of the Brussels Court of Appeal is the most recent episode in a seemingly never-ending quarrel between Belgacom, the Belgian telecom incumbent, and cable operator Telenet, over the acquisition of the TV broadcasting rights of the Belgian football competition. This contribution is (...)

The Belgian Competition Council refers the case back to the Competition Council’s Prosecutor for further investigation to assess implementation of remedies imposed following a merger in the cinema and theatre market in Belgium (Kinepolis)
Monard Law
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Philippe & Partners (Brussels)
1. The parties UGC Belgium Plc. (“UGC”) is a cinema operator that owns three sites in Belgium. Kinepolis Group Plc. (“Kinepolis”) is the leading Belgian cinema operator with eleven cinema complexes all over the country. In 2008 it held a market share of 43.83 %. Kinepolis was created in 1997 (...)

The Polish Competition Authority clears a joint venture of mobile network operators holding nearly 100% of the market (P4, Polkomtel, PTC and Centertel)
WilmerHale (Brussels)
Situation on the market P4, Polkomtel, PTC and PTK-Centertel are mobile network operators holding 99,9% of the market of retail mobile telecommunication services in Poland. They offer their services under the respective brands of Play, Plus, Era and Orange, and decided to create a joint (...)

The Finnish Competition Authority grants clearance subject to remedies to the acquisition of a Nordic premium pay-TV operator after extended second phase investigation (TV 4 AB / C More Group)
Roschier (Helsinki)
On 27 November 2007 following a twice extended second phase investigation period, the Finnish Competition Authority (“FCA”) conditionally approved the acquisition of C More Group AB (“CMore”) by TV 4 AB (“TV4”), owned by Bonnier Media Group (“Bonnier”) from the German media group ProSiebenSat1 AG. The (...)

The Portuguese Competition Authority conditionally clears a merger in Phase II in the pay-TV market (TV Cabo/Bragatel, Pluricanal Leiria, Pluricanal Santarém)
Cuatrecasas, Goncalves Pereira (Lisbon)
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Cuatrecasas, Goncalves Pereira (Lisbon)
On 21 November 2008, the Competition Authority decided not to oppose a concentration in the subscription television market subject to conditions and obligations, whereby CATVP - TV Cabo Portugal, S.A. (“TV Cabo”) acquired sole control over three competitors: Bragatel - Companhia de Televisão por (...)

The French Minister of Economics sanctions for the second time companies for a breach of merger remedies (TF1 / AB Groupe)
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (Paris)
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Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (Paris)
By a departmental order on August 21, 2007, the Minister, for the first time sanctioned a company with a €100,000 fine for breach of merger remedies subscribed for the realization of the operation of concentration. In just over a year, by a departmental order dated November 17, 2008, the (...)

The Belgian Competition Council allows a transaction between two cinema chains following previous merger remedies (Kinepolis/Multiscope)
Leuven University
Background information The Kinepolis Group NV (hereafter: Kinepolis), the largest cinema chain in Belgium, was formed after a merger in 1997 of Groep Bert and Groep Claeys. The merger had been approved by the Belgian Competition Council under a number of conditions. Those merger remedies were (...)

The UK office of Fair trading clears aspects of a merger in the commercial radio sector on the basis of efficiencies (Global Radio UK/ GCap Media)
Herbert Smith Freehills (Brussels)
On 8 August 2008, the Office of Fair Trading (“OFT”) announced that it had cleared the London aspects of the acquisition by Global Radio UK Limited (“Global”) of GCap Media plc (“GCap”) on the basis that the acquisition was expected to generate significant efficiencies that will benefit advertisers (...)

The European Commission conditionally clears an acquisition in the market for production and distribution of TV programs, TV satellite and cable broadcasting (News Corp/Premiere)
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European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"Mergers: main developments between 1 May and 31 August 2008"* In June a conditional approval was granted to the proposed acquisition of Germany’s pay-TV operator Premiere AG by News Corporation (News Corp) of the US. The approval was granted subject to commitments which would ensure third (...)

The Belgian Competition Council conditionally clears a merger in phase II between several owners of cable networks for telecommunications services in Wallonia (Tecteo/Brutele - Câble Wallon)
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (Hong Kong)
The operation Following a Phase II review, by decision dated 25 April 2008 the Council authorized the two-stage merger resulting in the acquisition of control by Tecteo of certain cable networks in Wallonia. The concentration involved several associations of local authorities transferring (...)

The Belgian Competition Council abolishes one of the conditions imposed in the context of a merger clearance in the markets of cable infrastructure and pay television channels, related to the obligation on the acquirer - a cable operator - to make available the premium content pay television channel on alternative infrastructures (NV Telenet Bidco/NV Canal+)
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (Hong Kong)
The operation At the request of the acquirer, a cable operator, the Belgian Competition Council abolishes one of the conditions imposed in the context of a merger clearance in the markets of cable infrastructure and pay television channels. The Competition Council’s review concerned the (...)

The Belgian Competition Council lifts a must offer obligation previously imposed to a TV operator as a merger remedy (Telenet - Canal +)
Leuven University
Background information The decision at hand of the Belgian Competition Council, concerning the request for the revision of the conditions imposed on NV Telenet Bidco (now NV Telenet) as a result of its acquisition of (the Flemish pay TV activities of) NV Canal + in 2003, is one of the elements (...)

The Brussels Court of Appeal annuls Belgian Competition Council’s decision lifting merger remedies imposed on a cinema group (Kinepolis)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
In a judgment of 18 March 2008, the Brussels Court of Appeal annulled the Belgian Competition Council’s decision of 16 April 2007 lifting the conditions it had imposed in 1997 on the merger between Belgian cinema groups Bert and Claeys, which created leading Belgian cinema group Kinepolis. In (...)

The UK Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise & Regulatory Reform, consistent with the recommendations of the UK Competition Commission, required partial divestment of a shareholding and behavioural remedies with respect to an investment in the TV broadcasting sector (BSkyB/ITV)
NERA
The operation British Sky Broadcasting Group plc (BSkyB) is a holding company for subsidiaries that operate principally in activities relating to television broadcasting and retailing in the UK and Ireland (for example, direct-to-home pay subscription satellite television). BSkyB is also (...)

The Lithuanian Competition Council conditionally clears in phase II a merger in the wholesale market for transmission of television signals and retail multi channel subscription television market (TEO LT/Nacionalinë skaitmeninë televizija)
Vodafone (Istanbul)
The operation By a decision dated 13 December 2007, the Lithuanian Competition Council authorized in phase II the acquisition by TEO LT AB (« TEO LT ») of 100 % shares of UAB Nacionalinë skaitmeninë televizija (« Nacionalinë skaitmeninë televizija ») . The market(s) The relevant markets have been (...)

A French Court confirms its competence to control the enforcement of remedies offered by the parties to a concentration to the benefit of third parties (Parabole reunion / Canal +)
Université Catholique de Lille
On 18 September 2007, the Paris Court of First Instance (the Court) adopted a judgement whereby it confirmed its competence to protect third party’s rights resulting from a merger authorisation decision and enjoined the new entity resulting from the merger to abide by its commitments. Although (...)

The Hungarian Competition Office conditionally clears a merger in the television production market (Chellomedia/Filmmúzeum)
Oppenheim
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Oppenheim - Budapest
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Oppenheim
Chellomedia CEE Holdco B.V. (Chellomedia), a member of the group of undertakings under the control of Liberty Global Inc. (Liberty Group), requested the Hungarian Competition Office (HCO) to approve its acquisition of control over Filmmúzeum (the Proposed Transaction). The Proposed Transaction (...)

The Brussels Court of appeal invalidates a decision by the Belgian Competition Council to lift the restrictions imposed on a cinema chain merger, and inter alia prohibition of exclusivity/priority clause (Kinepolis)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
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European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
Introduction On the 23rd of August 2007, the Brussels Court of Appeal accepted the request of UGC, Utopolis and FCB to revoke a decision by the Belgian Competition Council concerning the cinema chain Kinepolis. This latter decision lifted the restrictions imposed on Kinepolis in 1997 when the (...)

The Dutch Competition Authority clears an acquisition of a radio while reviewing exclusive broadcasting rights (Radio 538 - Talpa/RTL)
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (Amsterdam)
The Dutch Competition Authority (NMa) cleared on 13 August 2007 the proposed acquisition because it concluded that the transaction will not result in the creation or strengthening of a dominant position. The transaction entailed the creation of a new entity ‘Newco’ by RTL NL . Talpa would (...)

The French Administrative Supreme Court upholds a merger in the audiovisual sector conditional to remedies (Métropole Télévision)
Brown Brothers Harriman (BBH) (Luxembourg)
The operation By a Court decision dated 27 June 2007, the French Administrative Supreme Court upheld a decision taken by the French Minister of Economy, Finance, and Employment on 27 October 2004 granting TV channels TF1 and AB with an authorisation to acquire Télé Monte-Carlo in a Phase I (...)

The UK Government refers a media merger to the Competition Commission finding that the proposed transaction could raise substantial issues concerning the plurality of news provision for both cross-media and television news (BSkyB/ITV)
The HR Suite
Competition Commission, 24 May 2007, British Sky Broadcasting plc. / ITVplc. Inquiry Summary On 24 May 2007, the UK government referred the proposed acquisition by British Sky Broadcasting Group (“BSkyB”) of a 17.9% stake in ITV plc (“ITV”) to the UK Competition Commission. Alistair Darling, (...)

The Belgian Competition Council abolishes remedies imposed in a previous merger between the two major cinema operators in Belgium (Kinepolis)
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (Hong Kong)
The operation The Belgian Competition Council abolishes the conditions imposed by its decision of 17 November 1997 (97-C/C-25) on the activities Kinepolis Groep and Kinepolis Filmdistributie, created by the merger of Groep Bert and Groep Claeys The markets The relevant markets have been (...)

The Danish Competition Council approves the creation of a joint venture between two television broadcasters subject to 17 remedies due to a risk of coordination effects between the parent companies (TV2 / MTG / TV2 Sport JV)
Kromann Reumert (Copenhagen)
The operation TV2 was a state-owned television broadcaster. TV2 owned and operated a number of television channels. Its core channel, named ‘TV2’, was financed primarily through advertisements, whereas other channels were financed through a combination of subscription fees and advertisements. (...)

The Spanish Competition Authority clears in phase II a merger in the sports media rights sector subject to third party access to football broadcasting rights and limitation on the contracts’ length (Sogecable/AVS)
PwC (Madrid)
The operation The transaction involved Sogecable SA acquiring sole control over Audiovisual Sport SL (AVS). AVS was jointly controlled by Sogecable (80%) and TVC (20%). TVC had veto rights over certain strategic decisions, whose approval required 85% of the equity. The transaction involved (...)

The Maltese Office for Fair Competition clears a merger in the market for the provision of digital terrestrial television transmission services subject to the surrender of a license (Maltacom/Multiplus)
Camilleri Preziosi
The operation By means of a decision of the 26th January 2007, the Director of the OC cleared a concentration, subject to the surrender by the notifying party, of a DTTV licence. The concentration consisted of an acquisition of sole control over Multiplus Limited (a company providing DTTV (...)

The UK Competition Appeal Tribunal allows extension of time for merger filing admitting the existence of ’exceptional circumstances’ (BSkyB)
Kasliwals & Associates
Introduction Grant of extension of time for filing a review under section 120 of the Enterprise Act, 2002 (‘The Act’) in the BSkyB/Competition commission case sets an impeccable precedent incorporating the first principle established under the domain of ‘exceptional circumstances’, ‘the (...)

The Spanish Competition Authorities open an in-depth investigation into a merger for the exploitation of football broadcasting rights (Sogecable/AVS)
Herbert Smith Freehills (Madrid)
Spanish Competition Authority (Servicio de Defensa de la Competencia), 28 December 2006, Sogecable/AVS, N-6094 (Decision to refer to the competition court (Tribunal de Defensa de la Competencia) for a second phase investigation“Resolución de remisión al Tribunal de Defensa de la Competencia”) The (...)

The Czech Competition Office clears in phase II a merger between the two largest players on the market of pay-TV, subject to five remedies including pricing commitments (UPC/Karneval)
Clifford Chance (Prague)
The operation UPC Česká republika, a.s. ("UPC"), player No. 1 in the market of retail supply of pay-TV programmes to the final consumer in the Czech Republic, acquired the sole control over Karneval Media s.r.o. ("Karneval"), player No. 2 on the same market, and over Forecable s.r.o. As a result (...)

The UK Telecommunications Regulator opens the door to further consolidation in the radio sector (Radio Advertising Market Research)
Dickson Minto (London)
1. Summary On 19 October 2006 Ofcom, the communications industry regulator in the UK, published research which could have a major impact on the way in which the UK competition authorities assess radio mergers. The research shows that the pricing of radio advertising is constrained by (...)

The French Minister of Economics clears a merger in the markets of specialized TV channels with behavioural remedies (France Télévisions-TF1)
University Paris II Panthéon‑Assas
The operation By a letter dated 13 November 2007, the French Minister of Economy, Finance, and Employment authorized the merger between the public audiovisual group France Télévision (“France Télévisions”) and TF1, a private audiovisual group. The merger created “France 24”, the French TV channel of (...)

The French Minister of Economics clears the merger between the two pay-TV operators with 59 commitments after consultation of both the audiovisual regulator and the French Competition Council (TPS / Canal Sat)
Conseil départemental du Calvados
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Fréget - Tasso de Panafieu Avocats (Paris)
On 30th August 2006, the French Minister for the Economy, Finance and Industry (the Minister) authorised the merger between TPS and Canal Sat, the two satellite broadcasting and television service providers in France, after the parties entered into 59 commitments limiting the operation’s effect (...)

The Hungarian Competition Authority clears a merger in the sector of TV broadcasting subject to non-discrimination obligations (Chellomedia/Sport1 Zrt)
lakatos, koves and partners
The operation Chellomedia is the member of the Liberty group, which is owned by the Liberty Global Inc. and provides media services worldwide. Sport1 Zrt. was established by undertakings belonging to the Liberty group, however, the 75 per cent of the shares were sold. Thus, Chellomedia became (...)

The Bulgarian competition authority clears an acquisition in the filmmaking industry subject to conditions and upholds a State action immunity for gun-jumping (New Image Bulgaria/Boyana Film)
The Bulgarian Commission for the Protection of Competition (CPC or Commission) authorised the acquisition of the main national filmmaking studios, Boyana Film EAD (“Boyana”) by the US-based New Image Inc. and its Bulgarian subsidiary New Image Bulgaria EOOD (together, “New Image”). The main (...)

The German Federal Cartel Office gives guidance on the interpretation and application of the “failing company defence” while clearing a merger in the TV advertising sector (RTL / n-tv)
Gleiss Lutz (Munich)
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Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy (Munich)
On 11 April 2006, the German Federal Cartel Office (FCO) unconditionally cleared the acquisition of shares in n-tv Nachrichtenfernsehen GmbH & Co. KG by RTL Television. The case concerned the question whether a merger strengthening the collective dominant position of RTL and ProSiebenSat.1 (...)

The Icelandic Competition Authority clears a merger in the television industry, subject to remedies, including restrictions on board membership (Saga/Storm)
PwC
The operation On 26 October 2005 the Icelandic Competition Authority (ICA) was notified that Saga film hf (Saga) had acquired all the shares of Storm ehf (Storm). Saga produces TV shows, films and advertisements and is a subsidiary of 365 ljosvakamidlar ehf (365). 365 runs both free and (...)

The Irish Competition Authority clears a merger in the entertainment and communications industry subject to 19 remedies addressing issues arising from the cross-ownership/cross-management of the two concerned groups (UGC-Chorus / NTL)
Université de Genève
The operation On 4 November 2005 and following a Phase 2 review, the Irish Competition Authority (ICA) cleared the acquisition by UPC Ireland B.V. (“UPC Ireland”) of MS Irish Cable Holdings B.V (“MSICH”). Both companies were set up specifically for the transaction. The underlying structure of the (...)

The European Commission refers to the German competition authority the examination of a concentration in the cable networks industry (Ish/Iesy)
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European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"Mergers — Main developments between 1 January to 30 April 2005"* In February, the European Commission referred, pursuant to Article 9.2 of the Merger Regulation, the examination of the proposed acquisition of the North Rhine-Westphalian network cable operator ‘Ish’ by the Hessian cable operator (...)

The French Administrative Supreme Court upholds a merger conditionally cleared in the audiovisual sector (Sociétés TF1 et AB/TMC)
Brown Brothers Harriman (BBH) (Luxembourg)
The operation By a decision dated 27 October 2004, the French Minister of Economy (the “Minister”) authorised the joint acquisition of Télé Monte-Carlo (a Monaco based TV channel called “TMC”) in a Phase I procedure by the TV channels TF1 and AB. Both parties were mainly active in the (...)

The Italian Antitrust Authority clears without remedies the acquisition by the national public broadcaster of 84 digital broadcasting network (Rai / Rami Di Azienda)
Ashurst
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Legance - Studio Legale Associato
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Background On 29 April 2004, the Italian Antitrust Authority (Autorità Garante della Concorrenza e del Mercato) cleared the acquisition by the national public broadcaster, Radiotelevisione Italiana S.p.A. (Rai), of 11 going concerns composed of 84 digital broadcasting networks, including the (...)

The Portuguese Competition Authority clears a merger in the audiovisual sector with remedies, including the promotion and availability of a TV channel signal (PPTV/PT Conteudos/Sport TV)
PLMJ (Lisboa)
The operation This operation consisted in the acquisition of joint control over SPORT TV Portugal, S.A. (SPORT TV) which operates the business activity of television and broadcasting, and the acquisition and resale of television broadcasting rights for different sporting events by PPTV - (...)

The Austrian Cartel Court clears an acquisition in the media sector subject to remedies aimed at ensuring media pluralism (Moser/Athesia)
NERA (Berlin)
The operation Moser Holding AG (Moser) controls the major daily newspaper in the Tyrol ("Tiroler Tageszeitung") and the regional Tyrolean radio station "Antenne Tirol". Athesia Druck GmbH (Athesia) publishes the South Tyrolean newspaper "Dolomiten" and runs the local radio station "Arabella (...)

The Czech Competition Office clears in phase II a merger in the retail supply of pay-TV channels market subject to non-discriminatory third parties access to channels (Liberty media Corporation / UnitedGlobalCom)
Clifford Chance (Prague)
The operation By its decision from 5 November 2003, the Office authorized in phase II the change of control in UnitedGlobalCom ("UGC") from joint control to sole control, with Liberty media Corporation ("Liberty") acquiring the sole control. Liberty (through Discovery Communications Inc., its (...)

The Spanish Competition Authority clears a merger in the TV broadcasting sector subject to third party access to network infrastructure, but the remedies were subsequently modified by the Council of Ministries (Retevisión/ Abertis Telecom)
RBB Economics
The operation The operation consisted of Abertis Telecom’s acquisition (through its wholly-owned subsidiary Tradia) of Retevisión. Abertis Telecom is the subsidiary of the infrastructure group Abertis Infraestructuras. Abertis Telecom operates in the telecommunications sector and holds 100% of (...)

The Czech Competition Office clears a merger in the TV broadcasting and TV advertising markets subject to maintenance of third parties access under existing business terms and conditions (PPF/Nova Holding)
Clifford Chance
The operation In merger concerned, PPF (CYPRUS) LIMITED ("PPF"), and three individuals acquired joint control over NOVA HOLDING, a.s. ("Nova Holding") under a shareholders agreement, which followed the share purchase agreement and the related agreement on transfer of rights and obligations (p. (...)

The European Commission gives the green light to the merger between the two existing satellite pay-TV platforms in Italy subject to a complex package of conditions (Newscorp/Telepiù)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"The Commission closes probe into pay-TV industry in Italy approving Newscorp/Telepiù merger deal"* On 2 April 2003, after an in-depth investigation, the Commission gave the green light to the merger between the two existing satellite pay-TV platforms in Italy subject to a complex package of (...)

The European Court of First Instance annuls the Commission decision in a merger case which attempted to retroactively modify the original assessment on the ancillary restrictions (Lagardere/Canal Plus v. Commission)
European Commission - DG ECFIN
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European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
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European Commission - DG GROW
"Merger Control: Main developments between 1st September 2002 and 31st December 2002"* The main interest of this judgment lies in its impact on the interpretation of the Merger Regulation with regard to ancillary restraints. The Court held that contractual clauses which constitute restrictions (...)

The EU General Court reverses the Commission’s refusal to review ancillary restraints in merger cases (Lagardere/Canal+)
WilmerHale (Brussels)
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Harte-Bavendamm Rechtsanwälte
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Latham & Watkins (Brussels)
Last month, the European Court of First Instance (“CFI”) reversed a decision by the European Commission in a merger case, Lagardère/Canal+, that had refused to assess the legality of certain ancillary restraints (such as noncompete clauses) as part of its decision on the merger. The Commission had (...)

The Spanish Competition Authority clears in phase II with multiple behavioural remedies a merger in the TV sector, the Council of Ministries having established the definitive set of remedies (Sogecable/Vía Digita)
PwC (Madrid)
The operation The merger involved Sogecable’s acquisition of DTS, which operated the pay TV platform Vía Digital. The merger would also increase Sogecable’s stake in AVS to 80%. Sogecable is a pay TV operator with activities in Spain through its subsidiaries Canal+ España (analogical pay TV) and (...)

The European Commission grants the referral requested by the Spanish Competition authorities with regard to the integration of the two satellite digital television platforms operating in Spain (Sogecable/Canalsatélite Digital/Vìa Digital)
European Commission - DG ECFIN
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European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
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European Commission - DG GROW
"Merger Control: Main developments between 1st May 2002 and 31th August 2002"* The Commission decided to grant the referral requested by the Spanish Competition Authorities with regard to the integration of the two satellite digital television platforms operating in Spain. The operation, which (...)

The German Competition Authority deems that the proposed merger would impinge on the competition conditions on several markets in the sector for cable network communication (Liberty Media / KDG)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Bundeskartellamt issues warning regarding the Liberty Media/KDG merger project* According to the preliminary assessment of the Bundeskartellamt, the planned merger of Liberty Media/KDG (acquisition of broadband cable networks of Deutsche Telekom AG inter alia) would strengthen dominant (...)

The EU Commission approves an acquisition by a French company providing wireless solutions for broadcasters and telecom operators of the Finnish supplier of distribution and transmission services to radio and TV broadcasters (YLE / TDF / Digita / JV)
European Commission - DG ECFIN
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European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
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Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)
"Merger control: main developments between 1 May and 31 August 2001"* The Commission on 26 June approved an operation by which Télédiffusion de France (TDF), a France Télécom subsidiary providing wireless solutions for broadcasters and telecom operators, acquires a controlling stake in Digita, the (...)

The European Commission authorizes, subject to remedies, the participation of UK Broadcaster in the pay-tv operator in Germany (BSkyB/KirchPayTV)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"The Commission’s assessment of the participation of BSkyB in the pay-tv operator in germany"* Pay-TV KirchPayTV has a virtual monopoly on the German pay-TV market, although with a loss making business. BSkyB adds a very successful pay-TV company, with experience of digital interactive TV (...)

The European Commission addresses the issue of spill over effects of a merger in a case concerning the creation of a joint venture in the broadcasting sector (Canal+/CDPQ/BankAmerica)
"Mergers : Recent Developments and Important Decisions"* In Canal+/CDPQ/BankAmerica, the spill-over effects were found on a market upstream from the joint venture. The joint venture itself concerned pay-TV in France; but competition problems were found to result in the market for the (...)

The European Commission prohibits mergers in the German pay-tv sector (Bertelsmann/Kirch/Premiere and Deutsche Telekom/Betaresearch)
European Commission - DG TRADE
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"Mergers : Recent Developments and Important Decisions"* Major Phase II decisions concerned two proposed concentrations in the German pay-tv sector. In a first step CLT-UFA, a joint venture between Bertelsmann AG and Audiofina SA, and Kirch, the leading supplier of cinema films and TV (...)

The European Commission approves the creation of a joint venture in the television and radio broadcasting sectors (Bertelsmann/CLT)
European Commission - DG GROW
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European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"Mergers - Summary of the most important recent developments"* In the television/broadcasting sector, the European Commission decided on 7th October 1996 to declare the creation of the joint venture CLT-UFA compatible with the common market. CLT is the holding company of the CLT group which (...)

The European Commission initiates an in depth investigation of the proposed joint venture for supply of services to operators of cable, audiovisual and television services (Telefonica/Sogecable/Cablevision)
European Commission - DG GROW
"Mergers : Summary of the most important recent developments"* On 26th July 1995 Telefonica and Sogecable together with Canal Plus, Spain agreed to merge their activities relating to the supply of services to operators of cable, audiovisual and television services in a joint venture, (...)

The President of the European Court of First Instance rejects a request for interim measures concerning a proposed concentration in the TV broadcasting sector (Sogecable)
European Commission - DG GROW
"Mergers : Summary of the most important recent developments"* On 12.07.1996 the Judge President of the Court of First Instance (CFI) decided to reject the request from Sogecable for interim measures by declaring the appeal irreceivable. Sogecable had brought action against the Commission (...)

The European Commission prohibits a joint venture in the Dutch television market (RTL/Veronica/Endemol)
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DG REGIO Regional and urban policy
"Mergers Summary of the most important recent developments"* The Commission decided that the Dutch tv joint venture Holland Media Groep SA (HMG) cannot be approved under the EC Merger Regulation. As a result the creation of HMG has been declared incompatible with the common market. HMG is a (...)

The EU Commission prohibits the creation of a joint venture intended to transmit satellite TV programs to cable TV operators and households receiving satellite TV on their own dish (NSD)
DG REGIO Regional and urban policy
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European Commission - DG HR
"Mergers : summary of the most important recent developments"* On 19 July 1995 the Commission prohibited the NSD joint venture following a five-month investigation of the case. NSD was intended to transmit satellite TV programmes to cable TV operators and households receiving satellite TV on (...)

The EU Commission carries out a detailed inquiry in a Dutch TV proposed joint venture (RTL / Veronica / Endemol)
DG REGIO Regional and urban policy
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European Commission - DG HR
"Mergers : summary of the most important recent developments"* The Commission’s began an examination of the RTL/Veronica/Endemol case following a request from the Dutch government to this effect, in the absence of which the Commission would not have jurisdiction to deal with the case since the (...)

The EU Commission receives a notification of a concentration to create a joint venture between Nordic TV satellite operators (Torrington / NSK)
EACEA (Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency)
"Mergers : Summary of the most important recent developments"* On 23.02.1995, Norsk telecom AS (NT), Telemarkt A/A (TD) and Industrieforvältningen AB Kinnevik (Kinnevik) notified on operation by which they will create a joint venture called Nordic Satellite Distribution (NSD). NSD will be in (...)

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