Monday, February 26

They condition the Disney-Fox merger and invite divestment

“Because the merger infringes article 8 of the Law for the Defense of Competition (No. 27,442), through this decision, the CNDC subordinates the authorization of the operation to the fulfillment of a condition, since it diminishes, restricts or distorts competition in a way that harms the general economic interest (previously, the CNDC issued an “Objection Report” warning of the pernicious effects on competition of the operation in question, “said the CNDC.

And it adds: “The conditioning consists mainly of making available for transfer to a new competitor all the transmission rights related to sports competitions of which Fox was the licensor at the time of notification of the merger operation. This measure is intended to restore effective competition in the marketing market for basic sports signals, that is, ordinary cable sports channels -not premium signals or soccer packs-“.

The “fundamental content” to be transferred encompasses at least the main sports content of each of the sports, and are: Soccer Tournaments where teams from Argentina participate, the Copa CONMEBOL Libertadores de América; international soccer tournaments, the UEFA Champions League; of American Football Tournaments, the NFL; of Baseball Tournaments, the MLB; of Motoring, the Formula 1; of Fighting, the UFC; of Wrestling, WWE; of Boxing, the Premier Boxing Champions; of Basketball, the ACB Basketball League; of Rugby, the World Rugby Sevens; and for Tennis, the ATP World Tour 250 – ATP Córdoba.

“The conditioning is complemented by a series of behavioral commitments whose immediate objective is to mitigate the effects of the concentration until the divestment becomes effective and, on the other hand, to moderate the effects derived from an increase in bargaining power,” he says. communication from the CNDC.

Specifically, it is established that DISNEY must broadcast openly and free of charge the relevant content of each of the events defined within the “fundamental content” until the stipulated divestment becomes effective; and transmit under this same modality two matches of the local league currently transmitted by the premium channel of FOX SPORTS, one of which must necessarily be River or Boca, as these teams have the characteristic of being the teams with the largest call and audience of the local soccer.

On the other hand, and as long as the parties do not materialize the required structural divestment, they must maintain the relationship existing prior to the merger between the price of sports signals and the price of the basic subscription stable for each operator.

Finally, the behavioral commitment establishes requirements on the marketing and bundling conditions that minimize the portfolio effects that the operation could generate even after the divestment has been completed, and for a period of five years.

It is worth noting that, as it is a worldwide concentration operation, its effects were analyzed by the different competition authorities in the world where these companies operate, including Mexico, the United States, Europe, Chile and Brazil. In these countries, the competition authorities identified specific effects and risks in their markets and also imposed certain conditions on both conduct and structure to avoid the identified problems.