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Tuesday 20.02.2018 | Name days: Smuidra, Vitauts, Smuidris
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CC applies binding conditions for the sale of MTG Broadcasting AB

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RULatvian Competition Council has decided to permit Bite Lietuva to purchase MTG Broadcasting AB group’s businesses in Latvia. CC has applied several binding conditions to prevent a possible impact on competition on the television services and advertisement market.

«In accordance with the announcement of the merge, Bite Lietuva plans to acquire control over all of MTG Broadcasting AB group’s owned businesses in Latvia – TV3 LATVIA, Latvijas Neatkarīgā Televīzija, VIASAT Latvia, Star FM and Smart AD. CC identified two markets that will be affected by the deal: wholesale market for television programmes and advertisement placement market on television in Latvia,» explains the council.

UAB Bite Lietuva does not offer wholesale trade of television programmes. The company has announced an intention to do that in the future.

CC notes that the company is a potential wholesale trader of television programmes, and MTG Broadcasting AB could potentially create vertical relations, which could create risks for other wholesale traders to purchase MTG Broadcasting AB programmes on equal terms. Nevertheless, considering MTG Broadcasting AB’s major influence on the advertisement market, CC proposes certain obstacles for Bite Lietuva’s competitors to access the market.

Considering identified problems, CC concluded that the merge may significantly reduce competition on certain markets. To prevent a possible impact for competition, UAB Bite Lietuva proposed binding conditions. CC declared them efficient.

These conditions state – the prevent the risk of the unified market participant limiting access to the market for other participants, they should distribute their owned television programmes to all market participants at non-discriminatory terms.

Also the company has to provide an opportunity for any interested party to access information about provision of broadcasting right on the official website. This includes different technological solutions, as well as discount application principles.

The unified company will not be allowed to combine TV3, 3+ and TV6 television channels with LNT and Kanāls2 for their sale to other market participants so that they are able to forward services to the viewers. This way will allow competing companies to purchase broadcasting rights for specific programmes, not the entire library owned by MTG Broadcasting AB. «It should be said that this condition for MTG Broadcasting AB was first proposed in 2012, when it purchased Latvijas Neatkarīgā Televīzija,» the council explains.

It is also provided that if the aforementioned programmes are combined in a single offer to a single group, the discount should not exceed 20% of the total price the group would pay if it purchased each programme separately.

Because Bite Lietuva also owns shares in Baltcom, the new market participant will have to ensure from the moment the decision comes into force that neither its representatives nor representatives of associated companies participate in management of Baltcom or internal decision-making processes.

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