Media Giants Seek To Allay Antitrust Concerns

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SUMMARY

Sources said that the two companies argued before CCI that their combined might, especially in the cricket broadcasting space, would not “hit” advertisers

Arguing that Indians consumed content across platforms, RIL and Disney said that advertisers would not be disadvantaged by the merger

The $8.5 Bn RIL-Disney merger will create India’s biggest entertainment giant with over 120 TV channels and two streaming platforms under its kitty

Giving further shape to their $8.5 Bn merger plans, Reliance Industries-backed Viacom18 and Walt Disney India are now reportedly looking to allay the antitrust concerns of the competition watchdog. 

Sources told Reuters that the two media giants, in a confidential filing, have sought the nod for the merger from the Competition Commission of India (CCI). They argued before the watchdog that the combined might of the two players, especially in the cricket broadcasting space, would not “hit” advertisers. 

The companies also reportedly informed the commission that there would be no impact on advertisers as cricket-watching consumers could be targeted on multiple other digital platforms, including YouTube and Meta. 

Arguing that Indians consumed content across TV channels, social media and streaming apps, RIL and Disney said that advertisers would not be disadvantaged by the merger. 

It is pertinent to note that if the merger goes through, the consolidated entity would own the cricketing rights to almost all major cricket tournaments broadcast in India.

Additionally, the deal is expected to create India’s biggest entertainment giant with over 120 TV channels and two streaming platforms under its kitty, directly raising competition concerns.

As per the report, both RIL and Disney told the commission that the licences of various cricket tournaments were won separately by each of them in a “bidding process” that was competitive. 

Rubbishing any apprehensions of market harm on account of the deal, they also claimed that competitors were free to acquire the rights of key cricketing events after the expiration of RIL and Disney’s rights tenure in 2027 and 2028.

As per Jefferies, the consolidated entity is expected to command a 40% share of the Indian advertising market in both TV and streaming segments.

The ball is now in CCI’s court, which is reportedly expected to take longer than the usual “several weeks” timeline to vet the deal. 

This comes three months after Viacom 18 Media and the Walt Disney Company signed binding agreements to set up a joint venture (JV) that will combine the businesses of Viacom18 and Star India.

Pegged at $8.5 Bn, the JV will be controlled by RIL, owning 16.34%, while Viacom18 and Disney will hold 46.82% and 36.84% of the company, respectively. Not just this, Reliance is also expected to pump in additional investment to the tune of INR 11,500 Cr in the JV. 





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Media Giants Seek To Allay Antitrust Concerns


SUMMARY

Sources said that the two companies argued before CCI that their combined might, especially in the cricket broadcasting space, would not “hit” advertisers

Arguing that Indians consumed content across platforms, RIL and Disney said that advertisers would not be disadvantaged by the merger

The $8.5 Bn RIL-Disney merger will create India’s biggest entertainment giant with over 120 TV channels and two streaming platforms under its kitty

Giving further shape to their $8.5 Bn merger plans, Reliance Industries-backed Viacom18 and Walt Disney India are now reportedly looking to allay the antitrust concerns of the competition watchdog. 

Sources told Reuters that the two media giants, in a confidential filing, have sought the nod for the merger from the Competition Commission of India (CCI). They argued before the watchdog that the combined might of the two players, especially in the cricket broadcasting space, would not “hit” advertisers. 

The companies also reportedly informed the commission that there would be no impact on advertisers as cricket-watching consumers could be targeted on multiple other digital platforms, including YouTube and Meta. 

Arguing that Indians consumed content across TV channels, social media and streaming apps, RIL and Disney said that advertisers would not be disadvantaged by the merger. 

It is pertinent to note that if the merger goes through, the consolidated entity would own the cricketing rights to almost all major cricket tournaments broadcast in India.

Additionally, the deal is expected to create India’s biggest entertainment giant with over 120 TV channels and two streaming platforms under its kitty, directly raising competition concerns.

As per the report, both RIL and Disney told the commission that the licences of various cricket tournaments were won separately by each of them in a “bidding process” that was competitive. 

Rubbishing any apprehensions of market harm on account of the deal, they also claimed that competitors were free to acquire the rights of key cricketing events after the expiration of RIL and Disney’s rights tenure in 2027 and 2028.

As per Jefferies, the consolidated entity is expected to command a 40% share of the Indian advertising market in both TV and streaming segments.

The ball is now in CCI’s court, which is reportedly expected to take longer than the usual “several weeks” timeline to vet the deal. 

This comes three months after Viacom 18 Media and the Walt Disney Company signed binding agreements to set up a joint venture (JV) that will combine the businesses of Viacom18 and Star India.

Pegged at $8.5 Bn, the JV will be controlled by RIL, owning 16.34%, while Viacom18 and Disney will hold 46.82% and 36.84% of the company, respectively. Not just this, Reliance is also expected to pump in additional investment to the tune of INR 11,500 Cr in the JV. 





Source link

Disclaimer

We strive to uphold the highest ethical standards in all of our reporting and coverage. We StartupNews.fyi want to be transparent with our readers about any potential conflicts of interest that may arise in our work. It’s possible that some of the investors we feature may have connections to other businesses, including competitors or companies we write about. However, we want to assure our readers that this will not have any impact on the integrity or impartiality of our reporting. We are committed to delivering accurate, unbiased news and information to our audience, and we will continue to uphold our ethics and principles in all of our work. Thank you for your trust and support.

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