Spain’s anti-trust org OKs TV merger

Via Digital could fail without consolidation

SAN SEBASTIAN — In another positive step towards definitive approval for a single digital pay TV platform in Spain, the country’s Competition Defence Service has filed a report that delivers a qualified thumbs-up for the fusion.

The CDS observes that Sogecable’s purchase of satcaster Via Digital would increase Sogecable’s dominant ownership of soccer and movie rights.

But the CDS also argues that, unless a merger goes through, Spain could be left with just one pay TV operator with the other – probably Via – going to the wall.

Spain’s Telecommunications Market Commission came to similar conclusions in late August.

Said a Sogecable spokesperson: “The CDS’s report is a realistic analysis. There isn’t room for two platforms in Spain. The market has to rationalize.”

Spain’s Competition Defence Service now has two months to rule on the merger and the government a further month to deliver a final verdict.

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