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EC investigates Telia/Bonnier Broadcasting merger

Investigation opened over competition concerns

The European Commission (EC) has opened an investigation into the proposed acquisition of Bonnier Broadcasting by Telia.

The EC’s initial investigation identified three main concerns. Firstly, that TV distribution competitors in Finland and Sweden could be shut out from accessing Bonnier Broadcasting’s specific TV channels.

Secondly, the merged entity could deny access to TV advertising space on its free-to-air and basic pay-TV channels to Telia’s competitors in the markets for retail mobile telecommunication, fixed internet and TV services.

Thirdly, the company could deny access to its streaming application to customers using competing mobile and fixed internet providers.

The EC is to carry out an in-depth investigation into the effects of the transaction to determine whether its initial competition concerns are confirmed. A final decision is expected by 19th September.

Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said: “The in-depth investigation we are opening today aims to ensure that Telia’s proposed acquisition of Bonnier Broadcasting will not lead to higher prices or less choice of TV channels for consumers in Finland and Sweden.”