Bulgarian regulator approves Vivacom’s NURTS takeover

Bulgaria’s telecoms regulator, the Commission for Protection of Competition (CPC), has approved Vivacom’s acquisition of national broadcasting firm NURTS (National Unit Radio and TV Systems) Digital.

NURTS provides broadcasting services and transmits radio and TV programmes in Bulgaria, and was spun off from the Bulgarian Telecommunications Company – the former fixed-line monopolist which now operates under the Vivacom brand – in 2010.

Vivacom informed the CPC of its intention to acquire NURTS Digital in September 2014, and regulatory approval has followed an in-depth analysis of the deal.

In March 2015 the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg convicted Bulgaria of violating competition rules during its transition from analogue to DTT broadcasting by awarding concessions to NURTS Bulgaria and First Digital and excluding other potential candidates.

Bulgarian authorities are allegedly now voiding the two authorisations granted to NURTS Bulgaria and First Digital.