The merger of pay-TV platforms Via Digital and Canal Satelite Digital (CSD) could result in a "monopoly on rights to feature films" according to an investigation by Spain's industry regulator.
A Telecommunications Market Commission (CMT) report states among its conclusions that the 'two platforms already have a very clear dominant position in the pay TV market; the merger would accentuate this position, which could allow the resulting platform to force the packaging of rights by content providers who, if they do not contract with the resulting company, will have difficulty exploiting pay TV windows. This position could carry over to the market of distribution of thematic channels.'
The findings of the report will influence whether or not the merger gets the go ahead from the government. In response to the report's findings, Spanish Economy Minister Rodrigo Rato said the government was obliged to 'follow the recommendations of these bodies and explain those points which it is not going to follow.' Approval of the merger was placed by the European Commission into the hands of the Spanish government earlier this month. It is expected to decide by December.
The report also highlights a monopoly on football rights and access to telecommunications networks and services as additional effects of the merger of Via Digital, owned by telecoms giant Telefonica, and CSD, backed by media conglomerate Sogecable.