Regulator against Sogecable-Telefonica

From David Del Valle in Madrid

The Spanish Competition authorities has started legal proceedings against the recent alliance between the Spain’s largest pay-TV group Sogecable and Telefónica to launch a joint triple play offer and joinly negotiate with TV content providers.

The National Council of Competition (CNC) argues that there is evidence of an abuse of dominant position as the alliance would strengthen both companies in the pay-TV market, breaking competition legislation.

The dominant position would affect both the acquisition of TV content and the pay-TV market in which Sogecable, with more than 2 million clients, has around 52% of all pay-TV customers and 80% of all revenues through its DTH service Digital Plus, whereas Telefonica has around 12% of the pay-TV market through Imagenio, with more than 450,000 clients.

Their alliance was announced in June and both companies have plans to launch a joint triple play offer, Trio +, from the beginning of December, when the Government-imposed limit on an alliance between them comes to an end.

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