Bulgaria’s Commission for Protection of Competition (CPC) has launched an in depth investigation into the proposed takeover of Nova Broadcasting Group to PPF Group, owned by the Czech billionaire Petr Kellner.
According to Capital, the regulator only began to look at the €185 million transaction on May 22 but three days later decided to undertake a thorough study. This means that rather than the standard 25 days as stipulated by the Protection of Competition Act, the process could take up to four months, with an extension of 25 days also being possible.
Capital notes that the CPC used to have a much more streamlined way of examining such acquisitions. The regulator has also already established that there is a horizontal overlap between the activities of the respective parties in the online trading market.
More significantly, there is also an argument that the regulator may be trying to discourage large strategic investors from entering the Bulgarian market.
As previously reported by Broadband TV News, the sale of Nova by MTG to PPF Group was first announced in February this year. Nova, along with bTV, is one of the two largest commercial broadcasters in Bulgaria.