Viasat acquisition of Inmarsat heading to full CMA inquiry
The competition regulator has decided to refer the planned acquisition of Inmarsat by Viasat to a full-scale inquiry, it announced on Friday.
On 6 October, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) announced its decision that the merger could result in a “substantial lessening of competition” in the UK market.
It gave both companies the opportunity to offer up undertakings to offset any competition concerns.
Neither company made any such offers, however.
“Therefore, the CMA has decided to refer the merger to its chair for the constitution of a
group under Schedule 4 to the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013, to conduct a phase 2 investigation,” said Colin Raferty, senior director of mergers at the CMA.
The watchdog said the inquiry had a statutory deadline of 30 March next year.
Inmarsat and the Nasdaq-traded Viasat announced their intention to merge in November last year, in a deal worth $7.3bn.
The two companies received the go-ahead from the UK government on national security grounds in September, but still needed to clear the CMA process.
Reporting by Josh White at Sharecast.com.