Spanish watchdog probes laSexta-Antena 3 merger

DetailsJuan Fernandez Gonzalez | 27 May 2015

Spain's Comisión Nacional de los Mercados y la Competencia (CNMC) is to investigate Atresmedia for defaulting on the conditions of the La Sexta and Antena 3 merger regarding content management.

The CNMC says there is evidence of offering better deals for advertisers on certain channels in exchange for investing an agreed amount in the whole media group. In addition, certain conditions agreed with the CNMC regarding content acquisition may not have been fulfilled. The CNMC has six months to investigate the case.

The competition authority gave green light to the acquisition of laSexta by the Atresmedia group in July 2012, specifying some very strict conditions to preserve competition in the country's free-to-air (FTA) TV market. The merge was also authorised in August by the government, which added more restrictions.

Atresmedia and laSexta finally agreed to complete the buyout in September 2012, thus giving Atresmedia control over eight FTA DTT channels - Antena 3, Neox, Nova, Nitro, La Sexta, Xplora, la Sexta3, and GolTV - accounting for roughly 42% of the advertising market.