Telia’s $957 million bid for Bonnier secures EU approval


FILE PHOTO: Telia sign is seen on a building in Vilnius, Lithuania March 30, 2019. REUTERS/Ints Kalnins

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Swedish telecoms operator Telia won conditional EU antitrust approval on Tuesday for its $957 million bid for Bonnier Broadcasting, a move allowing it to better compete with big internet players such as Netflix and Amazon.

The European Commission said Telia had offered a series of concessions to address its concerns, including media plurality in Sweden and Finland, confirming a Reuters story on Sept. 2.

Telia pledged to offer rivals fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory access to its free-to-air and basic pay TV channels, as well as to premium pay TV sports channels in Sweden and Finland, the EU competition enforcer said.

The company also agreed not to discriminate against rival telecom providers and TV distributors in the sale of TV advertising space on the merged entity’s channels.

In addition, users will get access to the merged company’s streaming services over the internet, namely its AVOD and SVOD services. The pledges are valid for 10 years.

Bonnier, which competes with state broadcaster SVT, owns brands including Sweden’s biggest commercial broadcaster TV4, streaming service C More and Finnish MTV.

Reporting by Foo Yun Chee, editing by Louise Heavens

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