Advanced Television

Arqiva, NGW cleared

March 13, 2008

The two transmission companies owned by Australian bank Macquarie can merge creating a de-facto monopoly, says the UK Competition Commission “subject to the agreement of a package of measures to protect the interests of their customers”.

The Commission admits there will be a “substantial lessening” of competition in the supply of broadcasting services for TV and radio broadcasters. “The merged company will therefore be required to agree a package of measures, including price reductions for customers on new and existing contracts and the appointment of an adjudicator to resolve disputes.

The CC has decided that the proposed measures will be effective in addressing the adverse effects of the acquisition, whilst preserving the benefits that could arise from the acquisition, including reducing the risks associated with the digital switchover process and passing back cost savings to customers. However, if suitable undertakings cannot be agreed, then the Commission will order a substantial divestment of the NGW business acquired under the deal,” said the Commission report.

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