Chile’s FNE extends investigation into Turner-CDF deal

The National Economic Prosecutor’s Office (FNE in Spanish) has extended its investigation into the proposed purchase of Canal del Fútbol (CDF) by Turner. After a first stage, the agency concluded that it is necessary to evaluate in more depth the existence of “potential risks” related to the wholesale provision of TV channels and the offer of pay TV services.
In addition, FNE considered necessary to deepen the study of the contents for free-to-air television, as well as the role of advertising on TV. The second stage of investigation began on May 24, for a period of 90 days.
According to Diario Financiero, the mitigation measures delivered by Turner do not contemplate all the risks identified. In this way, “the operation can reduce competition so it is necessary to extend the investigation”.
The FNE mentioned that Turner is in the process of merging with AT&T, owner of DirecTV, generating, if approved, “an additional link relevant to the analysis of competition.” “DirectTV could access a relevant fraction of information from the programming costs of their respective rivals, which could lead to a substantial reduction in competitive intensity,” the agency said.
The entity will also analyze Turner’s relationship with its free-to-air TV channel Chilevisión, since there is the possibility of establishing games of the local tournament exclusively for the channel.
The transaction includes the entry of Turner into CDF’s property, currently owned by the National Association of Professional Football (ANFP) and Gestión de Televisión Limitada, through the acquisition of the channel as a company together with the licensing of TV rights of the Chilean soccer for the next fifteen years. The Evaluation Commission of the ANFP selected Turner as the winner of the tender in December last year.