SK Telecom's bid for CJ Hellovision rejected

05 July 2016 |


South Korea’s regulator has rejected SK Telecom’s bid to acquire the country’s largest cable TV company, CJ Hellovision.

South Korea’s Fair Trade Commission (FTC) has rejected SK Telecom’s (SKT) bid to acquire the country’s largest cable TV company, CJ Hellovision. The regulator expressed concerns that the merger would curb market competition.

A final decision on the bid will be made by the Korea Communications Commission and the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning. It will be based on the FTC’s opinion.

The South Korean news agency Yonyap said it was rare for the FTC to reject a local company’s M&A efforts. It has taken the regulator over six months to review the case.

SKT is the country’s largest mobile operator and has 48% market share. It announced in November 2015 that it had plans to acquire CJ O Shopping’s 30% stake in CJ Hellovision for KRW500 billion ($440 million). Once it had merged its SK Broadband unit, which has three million IPTV subscribers, with CJ HelloVision, which has 4.2 million subscribers, it would narrow the gap with rival KT, which has 8.1 million users on its TV platform.

SKT has already publically acknowledged that it might not succeed in completing the acquisition as the deal may not be given government approval.