By Kyle Morris
The U.K.'s Competition and Markets Authority said Friday that it has decided not to refer BT Group PLC's sports joint venture with Warner Bros. Discovery to a Phase 2 investigation.
BT Group and Warner Bros. said that they welcomed the decision to approve the agreement, adding that BT Sport and Eurosport U.K. will initially retain their separate brands, before being brought together under a single brand in the future.
"Today is a huge milestone, as we now look toward day one of the new business, which we hope to be in the coming weeks," Marc Allera, future chairman of the joint venture and CEO BT's consumer division, said.
The new management and delivery of the joint venture will be led by Andrew Georgiou, president and managing director, Warner Bros. Discovery Sports Europe, who will be a member of its board.
The regulator said on June 1 that it would look into whether the deal may result in a substantial lessening of competition.
BT said on May 12 that it had finalized the sports joint venture in the U.K. and Ireland with Warner Bros. Discovery. The U.K. telecommunications group said that as part of the 50-50 sports JV it would receive 93 million pounds ($111.6 million) from Warner Bros. Discovery and up to around GBP540 million by way of an earnout, subject to certain conditions. As part of the agreement, the operating businesses of BT Sport will be transferred to Warner Bros. Discovery.
The joint venture will combine BT Sport and Eurosport UK, with a portfolio including rights to the UEFA Champions League, the Premier League, UFC, the Olympic Games, tennis grand slams and the winter sports World Cup season.
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(END) Dow Jones Newswires