FTC rejects SKT-CJ HelloVision merger

20 Jul 2016
Daily News

South Korea's Fair Trade Commission (FTC) has made a final decision to block the proposed takeover by SK Telecom of cable TV provider CJ HelloVision on competition grounds.

The FTC determined that the deal threatens to limit competition in the pay TV market as well as the telecoms retail and wholesale markets, Business Korea reported.

The regulator also decided that unlike with previous broadcast industry mergers, due to the nature of the deal it would be difficult to reduce the impact on competition through the typical measures including required asset sales.

Earlier this month the regulator decided to temporarily halt the proposed mergerin advance of a full hearing, and has now decided to maintain this block.

SK Telecom and CJ HelloVision have both announced that they will accept the FTC's decision, meaning the proposed merger between the pay TV provider and SK Broadband is effectively dead in the water.

SK Telecom announced plans in 2015 to lift its stake in CJ HelloVision by 30% to a controlling 75.3%, with the option of a full takeover at a later date, in a deal worth 500 billion won ($438.6 million). But the operator's rivals LG Uplus and KT had both objected to the proposed merger and called for the FTC's intervention.

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