GVH orders new scrutiny of DIGI, Invitel merger

Competition

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The Hungarian Competition Authority (GVH) said Wednesday it has withdrawn its approval of the acquisition of ISP, telco and TV company Invitel by peer DIGI after discovering conditions it stipulated for the transaction were based on misleading information, state news agency MTI reported.

The GVH ordered a new procedure to scrutinize the acquisition, but said it would allow the merger of the businesses to continue, in the interest of keeping subscribersʼ services uninterrupted, until the relaunched procedure is closed.

As a condition for clearing the acquisition, the GVH had prohibited DIGI unit i-TV, which leases cables from third parties to show DIGI group content, from extending its contracts with cable partners in communities in which Invitel offers a parallel service. The GVH assumed, "based on presumably misleading facts," that there was such overlap in 23 communities. However, after market feedback, it launched a probe in which it found parallel services were offered in 89 communities.

GVH levied a fine of HUF 90 million for the violation.

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