Will Abertis win the spanish broadcasting & transport battle?

As you may know from some previous articles, mmC Group is heavily involved in broadcasting related assignments. We have been working with broadcasting operators in different European countries and we regularly follow the industry movements. One has recently happened in Spain.

The Spanish competition authority CNC has conditionally approved the acquisition of Axion and Teledifusion Madrid (TDM) by telecommunications infrastructure and services operator Abertis Telecom. CNC considers that this merger hinders effective market competition, eliminating Abertis’ main competitors both at a national level and regionally, across the Autonomous Communities of Madrid and Andalusia.

According to the competition watchdog’s decision, the mergers bring no significant economic benefits for consumers, and the commitments offered by Abertis to solve the problems identified on the market were inadequate. CNC thus decided to approve the acquisition on condition that :

  1. Abertis offers full wholesale services of TV signal transport and distribution across the communities of Andalusia and Madrid.
  2. Abertis provides access to each of the broadcast centres in these two regions, via interconnection and collocation of equipment.
  3. Abertis provides access to Axion’s radio signal broadcast centres located throughout the national territory.
  4. Abertis offers unilateral termination rights for Axion and TDM contract holders, while future contract signed with Abertis will cover a maximum period of five years.

Will this conditioned approval move the acquisition forward? Who knows. We have prepared our vision on the situation of the broadcasting market in Spain and the strategic challenges for Axion in case the acquisition fails. Please find it next (sorry as it is in Spanish).

For those unfamiliar with the deal, a briefing on the situation: In October 2008, Abertis acquired a 65 percent stake in network transport operator and audiovisual broadcasting company Axion. The shares were acquired from French broadcast transmission company TDF, as part of a transaction estimated to reach EUR 104 million. The operation was pending to be approved by the CNC. This, conditionally happened last 20th of july 2009. The ball is in Abertis / TDF’s side.

Best regards, CVA.

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