European Commission approves 21CF/Sky transaction unconditionally

The European Commission today approved unconditionally the merger of 21st Century Fox and Sky. The transaction did not raise horizontal competition concerns and so the investigation focussed on whether, post-transaction, 21CF would limit rival pay-TV retailers’ access to its audiovisual content and channels; and whether Sky would cease licensing content/channels from 21CF’s competitors. The Commission dismissed these concerns, primarily on the basis that Sky has an incentive to provide consumers with a wide range of third party content and because Sky was otherwise constrained by contractual and regulatory obligations. The EC’s investigation focussed on the competition issues raised by the transaction: a further public interest test will be applied by Ofcom.

A CRA team consisting of Cristina Caffarra, Oliver Latham, Helen Weeds, Kotryna Drasutyte and Alessandro Kadner-Graziano advised 21CF and Sky on the transaction.

See the European Commission’s press release here.