By Dominic Chopping
STOCKHOLM--The European Commission Tuesday cleared Telia Company AB's (TELIA.SK) acquisition of Bonnier Broadcasting, subject to compliance with a range of conditions offered by Telia to remedy competition concerns.
Nordic telecommunications operator Telia agreed to buy the TV unit of Swedish media group Bonnier AB in July last year, and has been working with the EU's antitrust authority in an investigation around competition concerns.
The investigation focused primarily on the merging companies' activities in the wholesale supply and retail distribution of TV channels in Finland and Sweden.
To satisfy the Commission's concerns, Telia has pledged to provide access to free-to-air and basic pay TV channels, as well as to premium pay TV sports channels, access to the merged entity's streaming services, access to TV advertising space and protection of competitors' confidential information.
Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy, said: "We have today approved Telia's acquisition of Bonnier, subject to remedies. With the decision, consumers in Finland and Sweden continue to benefit from a wide range of TV channels and audio-visual content both through traditional TV and over the internet."
The commitments will be applicable in Finland and Sweden and for a duration of 10 years.
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