The EC has approved the acquisition of United Group by UK-based investment firm BC Partners, after finding that merger did not raise any competition concerns. United Group’s footprint includes cable-based broadband, TV and telephony services in Serbia (as Serbia Broadband [SBB]), Montenegro, Slovenia and Bosnia and Herzgovina (all under the Telemach name) alongside providing satellite TV and IPTV services throughout Europe and worldwide as Total TV and nettvplus, respectively. In its decision, the EC noted that BC Partners controls satellite communications provider Intelsat and that the acquisition would ‘give rise to a vertical relationship between the retail satellite pay-TV activities of United Group in South East Europe, and the Europe-wide wholesale activities of Intelsat’. However, the EC found that there was no risk to competition as Intelsat is not dominant in the wholesale satellite capacity market, and United Group is only one of many customers active in that market.
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