The final approval has come following CMA’s provisional clearance given to the satellite communications companies in March 2023
The UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has approved Viasat’s previously announced $7.3bn acquisition of Inmarsat following the completion of an in-depth phase 2 probe into potential competition concerns in Britain.
The final approval has come following CMA’s provisional clearance given to the satellite communications companies in March 2023.
Viasat chairman and CEO Mark Dankberg said: “We’re delighted with the CMA’s decision to unconditionally clear the deal to acquire Inmarsat, as it represents a critical step in securing final approvals to complete this transaction.”
The UK competition watchdog concluded the deal between Viasat and Inmarsat will not significantly stifle competition for services offered on flights used by UK customers.
According to the CMA, the merged company would face competition from both new providers like Starlink and established companies, including Intelsat and Panasonic.
The phase 1 investigation into the deal was launched in In July 2022 and it stated that if the deal goes through, then airlines will face higher prices and lower quality on-board Wi-Fi, while a major competitor will be eliminated from the market.
An in-depth phase 2 probe was launched by the regulator in October 2022.
CMA phase 2 independent inquiry group chair Richard Feasey said: “The satellite communications sector is evolving at rapid pace – new companies are entering the market, more satellites are being launched into space, and firms are exploring and entering into new commercial deals.
“All the evidence has shown that the sector will continue to grow as the demand for satellite connectivity increases.
“After carefully scrutinising the deal, we are now satisfied that, following the merger, these developments will ensure that both airlines and their UK customers will continue to benefit from strong competition.”
In September 2022, Viasat secured the UK government approval under the National Security & Investment Act for the deal.
Besides, the firms have received approvals from the Australian government’s Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) and the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States for the merger.