In a statement, CPC says it says that on the basis of its analysis it concluded that “the merged group would have neither the ability nor the incentive to restrict access to the vertically integrated markets affected by the transaction. There are alternative TV and platform operators that are able to exert effective competitive pressure. Undertaking such behavior would have possible adverse consequences, such as the loss of key television content and significant revenue”.
It added: “Regarding the provision of advertising space in the media owned by Nova to the acquiring control group as an advertiser, the CPC found that the telecommunications sector is not among the leading advertisers in television, internet and radio and could not be considered a decisive factor for the overall advertising business of the media”.
United Group, which is backed by BC Partners, entered into an agreement to buy Nova at the end of last year. Nova’s most recent owners were the Domushiev brothers, prior to which it was owned by Sweden’s Modern Times Group (MTG).
Significantly, Capital reports that United Group is also planning to buy Bulsatcom, the country’s leading pay-TV provider, as well as the cable operator Net 1 and regional TV stations.
It also notes that CPC has approved United Group’s acquisition of a newspaper group belonging to Delyan Peevski.