European Commission approve the acquisition of Central European Media Enterprises by Time Warner

On 14 June 2013 the European Commission issued a press release stating that it approved Time Warner’s acquisition of Central European Media Enterprises (“CME”).

According to the Commission, the two entities are not in direct competition with each other (Time Warner is a U.S. based media provider, while CME broadcasts its television networks in a limited number of European countries, notably in Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania, the Slovak Republic and Slovenia).

In terms of the licensing of TV content, TV advertising, wholesale supply of TV channels and the distribution of films for theatrical release the Commission found that there would be no anticompetitive effects.  This is due to the fact that there is no overlap in TV content.  CME generally operates free-to-air channels, while Time Warner provides basic Pay TV channels or premium film channels. Additionally, the Commission has concluded that the acquisition will not increase the merged entity’s buyer power.  The merged entity of CME and Time Warner will not have the combined economic power to shut out any other competitors from the media market. [Anthony Reda]