Brussels “hostile” to OneWeb/Eutelsat deal
September 22, 2022
By Chris Forrester
The Eutelsat/OneWeb merger combination will need to be modified and adapted if the resulting business wants to be considered for the proposed European satellite broadband system, reports The FT.
Officials in Brussels are said to be “deeply hostile” to OneWeb because the UK government has a so-called ‘golden share’ in OneWeb, and would mean that the EU would not have sovereign control over the service.
The FT quotes an interview with Eutelsat’s CEO Eva Berneke that it was up to the UK government “to accept that those rights are being kind of waived on certain customers, because that’s the only way for those customers to be part of OneWeb”.
Neil Masterson, CEO at OneWeb, said that it would be possible to organise some sort of “proxy structure” to meet the EU’s sovereignty needs. Masterson, who had been expected to depart OneWeb once the Eutelsat merger wrapped has also confirmed that he will now be staying on.
OneWeb is already supplying connectivity to clients in Alaska, Canada, Greenland and other parts of northern Europe.