Altice abandons takeover due to antitrust concerns

Cristina Caffarra

CRA advised NOS, a major provider of cable television in Portugal, regarding its concerns on the planned acquisition by Altice of Media Capital. The Portuguese competition authority (AdC) referred the transaction for further in-depth investigation due to concerns that the acquisition could lead to severe anti-competitive effects. The CRA team was led by Cristina Caffarra and included Helen WeedsAlessandro Kadner-Graziano and Natalia Losurdo.

A key concern centred on the vertical integration between MEO, a retailer of pay TV and telecommunications services in Portugal owned by Altice, and Media Capital’s TV content business TVI – which provides one of Portugal’s most popular commercial free-to-air channels as well as a number of pay TV channels. The CRA team developed vertical models analysing incentives for input (content) foreclosure to competing TV distributors; it also assessed the possibility that competing channels may be disadvantaged on MEO’s platforms. The AdC agreed with these risks. Following failure to agree a remedies package the transaction was abandoned by Altice. Further information on the case can be found here.