The Spanish Court Audiencia Nacional has refused appeals from a group of telcos – Vodafone, Orange, Euskaltel, R and Telecable, among others – and TV company Mediapro regarding the acquisition by Telefónica of Canal+ which was authorised by the regulator CNMC in April 2015.
The ruling states that the conditions imposed by the CNMC on the operation are sufficient to guarantee free competition in the market and avoid an abuse of a dominant position. Amongst those conditions were to share premium content and channels with third parties at reasonable prices.
The plaintiffs had made appeals against the acquisition on the grounds that the restrictions on the agreement were not enough.
Back in 2015, Telefónica bought from Prisa a 56 per cent stake in Canal+ for €706 million to integrate it into the pay-TV platform Movistar Plus, the market pay-TV leader with almost 4 million subscribers.