8 April 2008

CC allows merger of Macquaries’ broadcast transmission company, Arqiva, and National Grid Wireless subject to behavioural remedies

Following an in-depth investigation the UK Competition Commission has conditionally approved the acquisition of National Grid Wireless (NGW) by Macquarie, allowing the merger of NGW with Macquarie’s broadcast transmission arm Arqiva. The merger will create a monopoly provider of terrestrial transmission services to radio and television broadcasters in the UK.Despite finding that the merger could be expected to give rise to a substantial lessening of competition, the Commission took account of significant efficiency savings expected to result from the merger, and also the beneficial effect on the terrestrial television digital switch over programme, in its analysis of remedies. The agreed behavioural undertakings will serve to protect new and existing customers from any potential adverse effects of the merger, and guarantee broadcasters a share of the expected synergies. The proposed undertakings are supported by customers and by Ofcom, who, as sectoral regulator, will play a significant role in their implementation.RBB advised the merging parties throughout the investigation alongside Clifford Chance.

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