Europe will not intervene. Thus light has left today the President of CNMC, José María Marín Quemada, the situation which is currently on the process of approval of the purchase of Canal + by Telefónica. Initially it was thought that Brussels could take action in the matter but will not finally.
From the operator they sought that the area of competence of Europe will not be responsible for examining the transaction, since they were aware of the conditions that could be set up in the event of European examination. And they have succeeded, the ball is now in the roof of the CNMC, you will need to decide if it authorizes the purchase without or with conditions.
End to the uncertainty and fears in Telefónica. An analysis of purchase of Canal + by Europe could have so-called harsh conditions to its completion, as it has happened with the (very different) purchase of e-plus, but on this occasion the operator It seems to have been lucky to not have to deal with the European regulator to close the acquisition.
Marin Quemada, which you could have expected that you wet in other issues such as the 4 G and the virtual or the next regulation on fiber, has declared Brussels to transfer responsibility to the CNMC. Therefore will be the Spanish regulator that has to make a decision that will mark the future of the sector of pay-TV in Spain.
The creation of a giant television
Once Spain arrived with two large platforms of satellite TV as well as the experiment failed or ahead of their time QuieroTV. After the merger of the satellite operators and the disappearance of QuieroTV the market shrank to operators offering different ways TV and a satellite platform.
But now with the movement of telephone market would be as the number of competitors is reduced even more, and what is more worrying, as power is concentrated in an operator. Approve the purchase of Canal + Movistar would have more than 80% of the pay TV market, the remainder in the hands of the other operators, where ONO-Vodafone and the multichannel have the largest portion, and GolT.
This concentration of the market, four-fifths would be in the hands of a single operator, and the accumulation of rights (especially sports) concentrated in Movistar/Canal + is very feared by the other operators. Today we have heard to Vodafone asking to protect the market against the purchase of Canal +, while Orange reported months ago to Movistar by offering free television in its mergers.
Therefore, that the entire weight of the decisions lies with the CNMC now is move in a period that we expect short. The final decision could go in either direction, from unfettered authorise the purchase to establish a wholesale service could access other operators. Personally it is difficult to make bets on which will happen being of half the CNMC, Telefonica and Canal +. What is clear is that at stake is the future of pay-TV in Spain.