Viasat’s Inmarsat Acquisition to Close After Clearing European Commission Review
Viasat’s acquisition of Inmarsat is on its way to close after clearing a review by the European Commission. The transaction is expected to close by the end of this month, as the EC approval was the last major approval needed.
The EC went through an in-depth investigation that began in February, looking into how the transaction would impact competition in the in-flight connectivity (IFC) market. Much like similar reviews by the U.K. Competition & Markets Authority and the FCC, the EC did not find competition concerns on the IFC market within the European economic area.
It found that the combined company’s market position in IFC will remain “moderate” and competitors will put enough competitive pressure on the combined company. It also concluded there are likely to be other new entrants or partnerships in the market to change the competitive landscape.
“In-flight internet connectivity on commercial flights is set to become more and more common in Europe. Our in-depth investigation has shown that Viasat’s plan to buy rival satellite operator Inmarsat will not have a negative impact on the competitive landscape for this service. Our extensive market investigation confirmed that sufficient choice among several credible providers will remain available for airlines to offer their passengers,” commented Margrethe Vestager, executive vice-president in charge of competition policy for the EC.
The transaction recently secured two other key approvals, the U.K. Competition & Markets Authority and the FCC.