On 5 February 2015, the Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority (“FCCA”) approved MTV Oy’s (“MTV”) application to lift the conditions related to the FCCA’s approval of the merger of TV4 AB (“TV4”) and C More Group AB (“C More”) in 2008. Pursuant to Section 30 of the Competition Act, the FCCA may, upon application, lift a condition to the implementation of a concentration when there has been a significant change in market conditions or there is another substantial cause.
The FCCA approved MTV’s application because the Finnish pay-TV market had evolved to a great extent, and, therefore, the original conditions imposed on MTV were no longer necessary to ensure competition in the relevant market. However, the FCCA stated that the condition stipulating that the MTV Max Formula channel must be sold separately shall remain in force for a transition period ending on 31 December 2015.
In 2008, the former Finnish Competition Authority (“FCA”) approved conditionally a merger by which the television company TV4 (owned by the Swedish Bonnier media group) acquired control of C More. C More is a company that offers pay-TV channels under the brand of Canal+. MTV is part of the Bonnier group.
The FCA imposed conditions on the merger because TV4 and C More were the two biggest market players in the pay-TV services market in Finland. The FCA concluded that the proposed merger would create a dominant position on the market, preventing competition on the wholesale market of pay-TV services in Finland. TV4 proposed commitments in relation to TV4, MTV and C More, concerning, e.g., the pricing of MTV’s channel packages. The FCA accepted the proposed commitments.