Norwegian legal authorities have ruled that telecommunications giant Telenor is not obliged to complete its takeover of Nordic pay-TV operator Canal Digital from Canal Plus before a distribution agreement is cleared by the EU Commission. However, Canal Plus has announced that will now take the dispute to arbitrators.
Following an agreement the two companies reached last summer, Vivendi Universal's TV and film division Canal Plus has been demanding immediate payment of $204m (Euros 237m) for the sale of its 50 % stake in Canal Digital to Telenor for a total of $258.4m (Euros 300m), of which $54.4m (Euros 63m) was deferred.
The two companies also signed a long-term exclusive distribution agreement for Canal Plus' premium pay-TV channels and the Kiosk pay-per-view service on Canal Digital's platform. Canal Plus Technologies would continue servicing Canal Digital with its interactive TV technology, as part of the agreement.
Telenor has held off paying while the EU Commission decides whether to approve the distribution agreement. In response, Canal Plus filed a temporary injunction seeking payment, arguing that a delayed settlement of the sale will be a major financial burden, but its claim in front of an Oslo court has been rejected.