Argentine Government suggests to cancel Disney-Fox merger in the country

According to several specialized websites in Argentina, a judgment from the country’s Comision Nacional de Defensa de la Competencia (CNDC) recommended the Secretaria de Comercio to cancel the Disney-Fox merger in Argentina. The main reason is that, according to the CNDC, it is estimated that the operation may restrict or distort competition, so it advises Disney and Fox to make changes to the terms of the merger.

According to the information reported from different websites, the CDNC grants Disney and Fox a 15-day period, so that both ‘make the considerations they consider appropriate, or offer solutions that can mitigate the potential effects on competition’. It also orders a special  court session to be held in order to consider the measures that the companies offer.

The judgment is based on article 14 of Law N°. 27,442 on the Defense of Competition. The text of this article explains that who applies the Law can choose between authorizing the operation; subordinating the act to fulfill the conditions established; or denying the authorization of the operation.

Recently, the IFT has granted a new extension to Disney and Fox for the sale of Fox Sports in Mexico, while the CADE in Brazil authorized the Disney-Fox merger without the requirement to sell Fox Sports. In Argentina, since the merger, many journalists from Fox Sports have been transferred to ESPN, including Mariano Closs, Sebastian Vignolo and Diego Latorre. In addition, in Argentina, Fox and Turner share the license to broadcast matches of the Professional Football League – currently cancelled due to the Coronavirus pandemic – through Fox Sports Premium and TNT Sports. In case the Disney-Fox merger is not implemented in the country, 50% of the rights, belonging to Fox Sports, could be left without an owner.