Advanced Television

Italian Antitrust probes Sky-Mediaset Premium deal

March 11, 2019

From Branislav Pekic in Rome

Italy’s Antitrust Authority launched an investigation into the acquisition of Mediaset Premium’s pay-TV technical platform by Sky Italia and Sky Italian Holdings.

The purpose of the procedure is to ascertain the possible competitive effects of the acquisition and to decide whether and how to mitigate its effects by imposing certain constraints.

Among other things, the investigation will assess whether the operation could lead to the strengthening of Sky’s dominant position in the markets for retail pay-TV accesses and wholesale access services to the technical platform for digital terrestrial pay-TV, such as to eliminate or substantially and durably reduce competition in those markets, as well as in related markets, such as those for digital broadcasting, pay-TV content and pay-TV channels.

The investigation will last for 45 days after which Italy’s Communications Authority (AgCom) will have another 30 days to issue its ruling.

Data provided by the Antitrust Authority indicates that Sky was a dominant player, with a market share of about 77 per cent in 2017, Mediaset Premium had 19.8 per cent, while all the others players together had less than 5 per cent.

According to market estimates, R2 ended 2018 with a turnover of around €35.4 million. The capital of R2 was held entirely by Mediaset Premium until the closing of the transaction on November 30th 2018. As communicated on December 6th by Sky Italia, the share capital of R2 was acquired entirely by Sky Italian Holdings.

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