Spanish watchdog steps into Telefónica-Prisa negotiations
Juan Fernandez Gonzalez | 12-03-2014
Telefónica may announce its purchase of Canal+ from Prisa in the coming days according to several sources, but now Spain's competition authority, Comisión Nacional de los Mercados y la Competencia (CNMC), is stating that the deal has to be analysed by the European Commission as it affects competition in the pay-TV market.
José María Marín, CNMC's president, told Europa Press that the deal would have European ramifications. Telefónica, which is also upping its own pay-TV offer, may be difficult to compete with if it also controls Canal+ and its nearly two million subscribers, said Marín. The CNMC itself could be commissioned to carry out the analysis of the deal.
"If it's done through the European Union we will see if the regulation commission authorises the operation," said CNMC's president.
Telefónica and Mediaset, which is also interested in Canal+, may announce the result of the negotiations before the end of the week. Prisa announced at the end of February that both companies had two weeks to present their final offers. That deadline is today (12 March).
Telefónica, which already owns 22% of the satellite TV platform, is in a better position to purchase the rest of the company as it is ready to pay over €800 million for it.
In addition to Mediaset, Al Jazeera had also shown interest in buying Canal+, although no further moves from this direction have been announced.