The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has launched an examination into the proposed £5.4 billion takeover of Inmarsat by its US rival Viasat, Inc.
The CMA believes the deal has the potential to create a “substantial lessening of competition” in the sector.
Inmarsat has 14 satellites in orbit and provides a range of services, including mobile internet and Wi-Fi for ships and planes and IoT connectivity into far flung reaches of the earth.
The CMA will now have until 5 October to form its decision for the phase one of its investigation.
“The CMA review, with which we will co-operate fully, is taking place against a backdrop of satellite industry consolidation as Inmarsat and ViaSat seek to create a global innovator that will safeguard UK space industry jobs and technology, while making significant investments to meet customer needs,” the company said in a statement.
“The regulatory process on the ViaSat-Inmarsat transaction remains on track and has secured approval in several key markets, including from the important Committee on Foreign Investment in the US.”
Inmarsat was listed on the London Stock Exchange until October 2019 when it was acquired by a private equity consortium comprising Apax Partners, Warburg Pincus and Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) and Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board.
On this occasion the bid was waived through by then culture secretary Nicky Morgan after the CMA said there was no risk of a substantial lessening of competition.