The UK’s Competitions and Markets Authority has given its approval to the planned joint venture between BT and Warner Bros Discovery (WBD).
The CMA announced it would look at the deal at the beginning of June, starting what it called a Phase 1 investigation into whether the joint venture would reduce competition in Britain. It has now announced it will not be moving that investigation on to Phase 2.
The CMA’s decision now allows BT and WBD to complete the creation of the 50:50 JV in the coming weeks and for each of their assets to be transferred into the new company. BT Sport and Eurosport UK will form the new joint venture.
The two companies have announced that BT Sport and Eurosport UK will initially retain their separate brands and product propositions in the market before being brought together under a single brand in the future.
Marc Allera, future chairman of the JV and CEO BT’s Consumer division said: “It’s great news that the CMA has approved the new JV that we are forming with Warner Bros. Discovery, combining the very best of BT Sport and Eurosport UK, to create an exciting new offer for live sport programming in the UK. Today is a huge milestone, as we now look toward day one of the new business, which we hope to be in the coming weeks.”
Andrew Georgiou, future board member of the JV and president and managing director, Warner Bros. Discovery Sports Europe, added: “Combining the capabilities, portfolios and scale of BT Sport and Eurosport UK will be a big win for fans in the UK & Ireland, offering a new destination that will feature all the sport they love in one place. We now look forward to closing the transaction and having the opportunity to further engage all stakeholders in the process of forming and developing the JV.”