5 June 2023

Viasat’s acquisition of Inmarsat unconditionally cleared

In May, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) and the European Commission (EC) unconditionally approved Viasat’s acquisition of Inmarsat following a Phase II investigation.

Both parties are vertically-integrated Satellite Network Operators that provide ‘two-way' satellite-based communication services across various end-uses, resulting in horizontal and vertical overlaps in a large number of relevant markets. The Parties’ combined market shares and market share increments were highest in the supply of broadband IFC services to commercial and business aviation customers. In both areas, RBB inter alia supported the Parties by showing that historic market shares are uninformative regarding future competition as (a) these market shares reflect past contract wins in a nascent market and (b) do not capture the increasing intensity of competition in a dynamic bidding market nor the competitive constraints on the Parties post-merger, including entry and expansion by non-geostationary orbit (“NGSO”) satellite operators.

The CMA’s and EC’s press release can be found here and here.

RBB Economics, working alongside law firms Latham & Watkins, Linklaters, and Clifford Chance, assisted Viasat throughout the pre-notification period and the Phase I and Phase II proceedings in the EEA, and the UK.

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