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.
See the European Commission’s press release here.