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TELIA - Telia AB News Story

SEK35.7 0.4  1.2%

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Sector
Telecoms
Size
Large Cap
Market Cap £12.25bn
Enterprise Value £20.61bn
Revenue £7.52bn
Position in Universe 57th / 1836

EXCLUSIVE-Telia faces antitrust investigation of $954 mln Bonnier deal -sources

Thu 9th May, 2019 3:40pm
* Telecoms operator aims to expand media business
    * Shared content a potential concession 

 (Adds detail and context)
    By Foo Yun Chee
    BRUSSELS, May 9 (Reuters) - Nordic telecoms operator Telia's
 TELIA.ST  close to $1 billion bid for Bonnier Broadcasting
faces a full-scale EU antitrust investigation after failing to
address competition concerns, two sources familiar with the
matter said on Thursday.
    Telia announced the deal, worth 9.2 billion Swedish crowns 
($954 million), in July last year as the company looks to expand
its media business as telecoms groups spend heavily to
capitalise on changing television viewing habits.
    The rise of streaming services from big internet players
such as Netflix  NFLX.O  and Amazon  AMZN.O  has spurred
telecoms companies to follow their lead.
    Owned by a prominent Swedish family, Bonnier's brands
include Sweden's biggest commercial broadcaster, TV4, and
streaming service C More and Finnish MTV. It competes with state
broadcaster SVT.  urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL8N1UG0LI
    Telia offered concessions to the European Commission last
month but these were not sufficient to allay regulatory worries,
the sources said.
    Industry sources urged regulators to extract a promise from
Telia to allow distributors continued access to TV4 because of
the channel's broad offering of Swedish drama, entertainment,
news and currrent affairs programmes.
    The fear is that Telia offers TV4 exclusively on its
platform or via bundled deals for its customers.
    The EU competition enforcer and Telia, which competes with
Sweden's Tele2  TEL2b.ST  and Norway's Telenor  TEL.OL ,
declined to comment.
    The Commission is set to announce the opening of its
in-depth investigation on Friday, the sources with direct
knowledge of the matter said, giving it 90 working days to
examine the deal and Telia to consider potential concessions.
    The deal is politically sensitive for Sweden since the
government owns 37 percent of Telia and also controls Sweden's
other big traditional broadcaster, public service television
network SVT.
($1 = 9.6465 Swedish crowns)

 (Reporting by Foo Yun Chee
Additional reporting by Helena Soderpalm in Stockholm
Editing by David Goodman)
 ((foo.yunchee@thomsonreuters.com; +32 2 287 6844; Reuters
Messaging: foo.yunchee.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))
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