The Competition and Markets Authority said Thursday that it would examine whether the intended acquisition of eOne would result in a “substantial lessening of competition” under U.K. rules. The CMA was deeply involved in scrutinizing the sale of Sky, which was ultimately bought by Comcast at an unusual auction.
Toy giant Hasbro announced a surprise $4 billion all-cash deal for film and TV studio eOne in August. As well as movie and drama production and distribution, eOne owns the smash-hit kids’ property Peppa Pig.
When it announced the deal, Hasbro said that “the acquisition of eOne adds beloved story-led global family brands that deliver strong operating returns to Hasbro’s portfolio and provides a pipeline of new brand creation driven by family-oriented storytelling, which will now include Hasbro’s IP.”
The CMA set out a timetable for its investigation. It will commence Friday and the body will announce whether the matter needs further examination – termed a Phase 2 investigation – by Jan. 21, 2020.
Hasbro has its own content unit, Allspark. The company’s TV properties include “Transformers Robots in Disguise,” and “My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic.” As well as “Peppa Pig,” the eOne roster of kids and family properties include “PJ Masks” and “Ben & Holly’s Little Kingdom.”