On November 12, 2019, the Commission cleared the proposed acquisition of Bonnier Broadcasting Holding AB, a TV broadcasting company primarily active in Sweden and Finland, by Telia Company AB, a telecommunications operator in the Nordic region.[1]

The Commission had opened an in-depth investigation based on vertical concerns in the wholesale supply and retail distribution of TV channels in Finland and Sweden. The Commission was concerned that Telia would be able to foreclose its competitors by denying access to Bonnier’s TV channels, streaming services, and advertising space. The Commission eventually cleared the merger, subject to behavioral remedies.

To address the Commission’s concerns, Telia committed to grant its competitors access, on fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory (“FRAND”) terms to (i) free-to-air and basic pay-TV channels, and premium pay-TV sport channels; (ii) the merged entity’s streaming services; and (iii) TV advertising space. Telia also committed to protect its competitors’ confidential information by establishing information barriers between the merged entity’s wholesale and retail activities.

[1]      Telia/Bonnier (Case COMP/M.9064), decision not yet published. See Commission Press Release IP/19/6271.