EU regulator decision on Viasat-Inmarsat merger imminent

EU regulator decision on Viasat-Inmarsat merger imminent

Inmarsat HQ.jpg

A decision from EU antitrust regulators on the US$7.3 billion merger between Viasat and Inmarsat is expected today.

The regulator, according to Reuters, can either clear the deal with or without remedies or open up a full-scale investigation if it has concerns about the merger.

The deal is already being investigated by The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), the UK markets regulator, who is concerned that it could affect competition in the aviation market.

Both satellite companies criticised the competition regulator for saying that the union will put up prices for airline passengers.

The CMA says a merger gives “rise to a realistic prospect of a substantial lessening of competition”, and it believes they “are currently the strongest [in-flight connectivity] providers available to airlines”. It talks of “significant competition concerns” if they merge.

Despite that, both Viasat and Inmarsat are working with the CMA to demonstrate how the planned combination of the companies will benefit customers.

The UK government, though, approved the proposed deal in September 2022.

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