International Round-Up: Telia acquisition finally approved - The Post

International Round-Up: Telia acquisition finally approved

(Photo: ALDE Group/Flickr)
November 14th, 2019 11:34 am| by Roselyne Min

The Swedish multinational company Telia has received the final approval it was waiting for from the EU Competition Commission regarding its acquisition of Swedish broadcaster Bonnier Broadcasting.

It has taken nearly 18 months as Telia announced its 9.2 Swedish krona acquisition of Bonnier Broadcasting – which includes Sweden’s biggest commercial broadcaster TV4, streaming service C More and Finnish MTV – in July 2018.

EU concerns
The deal was subjected to a market investigation by the EU Competition Authorities.

Margrethe Vestager, EU’s competition commissioner and executive vice president-designate of the European Commission, pinpointed concerns regarding the transaction: the possibility of increased prices or reduced choices for consumers in Finland and Sweden, its competitors in the mobile telecommunication market being denied advertising on its TV channels, and its streaming application being made unavailable to customers using competing mobile and fixed internet providers.

According to an EU document, the company offered concessions such as fair and reasonable access to its free-to-air and basic pay-TV channels and premium sports channels. The company pledged to sell advertising space on its TV channels to its rivals in the telecom market as well.

Telia earlier in September told Reuters it wouldn’t disclose the exact details of the concessions as it wanted to avoid any possible interference with the investigation.

PM visiting Paris
PM Mette Frederiksen is visiting Paris to meet French President Emmanuel Macron on November 18. The Prime Minister’s Office has announced that the main agenda will include migration issues and preparations for the upcoming NATO summit in London. The PM’s main interests appear to be migration, climate and social dumping, and she will suggest the French president “creates a new asylum system that is both fair and humane”.

Foreign minister visiting Washington to discuss Arctic and Greenland
The foreign minister, Jeppe Kofod, is visiting Washington DC for the first time in his role, where he will meet the US secretary of state, Mike Pompeo. Accompanying Kofod will be Ane Lone Bagger, the minister of education, culture, church and Greenlandic affairs. The three will discuss foreign policy issues – particularly in regard to the Arctic and Greenland, Syria and NATO. Regarding the Arctic and Greenland issue, Kofod earlier said: “We have welcomed the US commitment and look forward to jointly discussing it with Pompeo. A key message will be that increased American involvement can and should benefit Greenland.”

Danish institutions to participate in high-tech space project
A Danish institution and companies have signed a contract of 7.75 million kroner for a space science project under the umbrella of the European Space Agency (ESA). The Aarhus-based company Ohmatex is developing intelligent training clothing that monitors the training condition of astronauts in space. The Institute of Biomedicine (BMI) at the University of Copenhagen will help out the company with the physiological side of its research. Odense-based Danish Aerospace Company is another partner in the project, and it will be responsible for the safety and qualification of electronics for use in space. The purpose of the project is to get a deeper insight into the effectiveness of current physical training. Ohmatex’s equipment will initially be tested on a single team of astronauts, and BMI will simultaneously convey an observation on control groups on Earth.