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The FNE unconditionally cleared in Phase 1 the acquisition of Chilevisión

05 / 07 / 2021

The FNE unconditionally cleared in Phase 1 the acquisition of Chilevisión (a free-to-air channel owned by Warner Media Group) by Viacom CBS, Inc., concluding that the merger not only does not raise anticompetitive effects, but would also produce a deconcentration effect in the market.

In the investigation, which began on May 19, the FNE analyzed the competitive effects of the acquisition in all relevant markets possibly affected by the transaction: free-to-air and pay television, television advertising and digital advertising.

The information gathered during the investigation was obtained both from the notification and from third parties, through requests of information and official statements.

After the analysis, the FNE concluded that the acquisition would cause a deconcentration in the market, since the Warner Media Group also owns in Chile the channels CNN Chile and CDF –which has the monopoly of the broadcasting rights of the national soccer championship– and because the importance of the Warner Media Group as a provider of multimedia content is much greater than the one hold by Viacom CBS.

Particularly, the deconcentration would also occur because the Warner Media Group is forty times greater in television advertising sales than Viacom CBS (excluding Chilevisión) and twelve times greater in digital advertising.

Due to the above, the FNE concluded that pay TV operators, advertisers and media agencies will be in a better position to negotiate after this transaction than if Chilevisión remained under the control of Warner Media Group. The same effect may occur for free-to-air channels in case they negotiate with multimedia content providers. From a vertical perspective, the FNE also discarded any consumer or input foreclosure.

Finally, the FNE also analyzed the ancillary restraints, such as non-solicitation clauses, concluding that these are not anticompetitive, because they are directly related to the operation, necessary for its materialization and considered reasonable terms.


The parties

Chilevisión currently operates and distributes in Chile a free-to-air television channel and its websites, under which it participates in the sale of digital advertising.

Its current owner is the Warner Media Group, which participates in different segments of the broadcasting market, including the provision of pay television channels such as CNN Chile, CDF and the Turner and HBO channels. In addition, it offers paid television subscription plans through DirecTV.

Viacom CBS, is a wholesale content provider, through the production and distribution of pay television channels, such as CBS, Showtime, Paramount Pictures, Nickelodeon, MTV, Comedy Central, BET, Smithsonian Channel, among others.