UK Probes Viasat’s $7.3 Billion Inmarsat Deal

The deal would create one of the world’s largest satellite broadband providers and could harm market competition. Back in November 2021, US satellite operator ViaSat struck a deal to acquire the UK’s Inmarsat for $7.3 billion.

Now, the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has announced that it is beginning its own review into the acquisition, seeking to ascertain if the deal represents “a substantial lessening of competition within any market or markets in the [UK]”.

The companies said that the tie-up would “create a leading global communications innovator with enhanced scale and scope to affordably, securely and reliably connect the world”, suggesting their complementary assets that would be used to create a “high-capacity hybrid space and terrestrial network”.

In total, the combined company would operate a fleet of 19 satellites in various orbits and using various spectrum bands, with ten more under construction.

At the time, the two operators said that they hoped the deal would close in mid-2022, but it seems that this target was overly ambitious, with various regulatory bodies being asked to weigh in on the matter due to competition concerns.  

Last month, the European Commission announced that they had been asked to investigate the deal at the behest of 13 countries, meaning ViaSat will have to wait for clearance before implementing the transaction.

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