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UK Government Gives Viasat/Inmarsat Combination National Security Approval  

By Rachel Jewett | September 19, 2022

The U.K. government approved the Viasat/Inmarsat business combination on Friday under the National Security & Investment Act. This is one step in Viasat’s necessary approvals from the U.K. government and other jurisdictions.

The Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) made a final order that will go into effect when the acquisition is completed. The final order assures that “controls are in place to protect information from unauthorized access, and strategic capabilities continue to be provided by Inmarsat and Viasat to the U.K. government.” 

This final order was put in place to mitigate national security risks in terms of protecting information and maintaining strategic capabilities. 

Viasat said the companies have been in economic undertakings with BEIS including a pledge to expand the number of highly skilled jobs and increase overall research and development spending in the UK by 30%. 

“Viasat has been a trusted partner of the U.K.’s defense and national security communities for more than a decade, including in the provision of its market-leading encryption products,” Viasat CEO Mark Dankberg said. “The combined company, whose global international business headquarters will be situated in the U.K., will build upon the strong U.K. relationships that Viasat and Inmarsat already enjoy and allow us to deepen our contribution to the U.K.’s National Space Strategy.”

Dankberg said at World Satellite Business Week in Paris last week that he expects to reviceve full regulatory approval from the U.K. government in another month or so, which will indicate whether or not the transaction is likely to close during this calendar year. Another review from the U.K. Competition & Markets Authority (CMA) is ongoing.