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Viasat, Inmarsat to demonstrate benefits of merger to CMA

Mark Dankberg - Viasat.png

Viasat and Inmarsat will work with the UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) to demonstrate how the planned combination of the companies will benefit customers.

The aim will be to show that the merger of the two satellite firms will benefit customers by improving efficiencies, lowering costs and increasing the availability of in-flight connectivity (IFC) around the world.

The CMA says it will refer the transaction to a Phase 2 investigation.

Viasat and Inmarsat say they remain confident that the transaction will increase the availability of more affordable, faster and more reliable IFC globally to operators, airlines and passengers.

While the market is still nascent, existing providers Panasonic and Intelsat combined represent more than 75% of the long-haul IFC market.

Mark Dankberg, Viasat's CEO and executive chairman said: "Our market success to date has been driven by applying innovative technologies to increase IFC speeds, reliability, and affordability.

“Our investments in the ViaSat-3 constellation and the Inmarsat transaction are intended to help us make these services more available globally.

“Industry analysts anticipate that an already highly competitive IFC market will become even more competitive with the entrance of new, heavily financed LEO competitors.

“We believe that a comprehensive Phase 2 analysis will support that our transaction will benefit the nascent, but rapidly growing IFC services available to airline passengers."

According to multiple reports, over the last three years, new market entrants such as Starlink, Eutelsat/OneWeb and Telesat have raised over US$20 billion in new capital, demonstrating the competition in the IFC market.

The CMA, Viasat and Inmarsat will actively participate in Phase 2. The proposed merger between the two has already secured several key regulatory approvals, most recently with the UK Government’s clearance of the transaction.