The Danish Competition Council has approved SE a.m.b.a.’s merger with Boxer TV A/S subject to commitments

27. September 2017

On 27 April 2017 the Danish Competition and Consumer Authority (DCCA) received a complete notification of SE a.m.b.a.’s (“SE”) acquisition of sole control of Boxer TV A/S (“Boxer”).

SE provides households with TV services and Internet access services through coax and fiber network. Boxer provides households with TV services through the DTT network and Internet access services through TDC’s network. Boxer was the first Danish TV supplier to launch an a la carte product that allows end users to freely choose – and only pay for - the TV channels they want to watch. Boxer has been granted an exclusive license to supply TV services through the DTT network until April 2020.

SE and Boxer are thus active in the Danish markets for

  • wholesale supply of TV channels
  • retail provision of TV services to end users
  • retail supply of fixed Internet access services to end users
      

Boxer’s DTT license will expire in April 2020 and will therefore be put out to tender. The DCCA finds that the merger will not affect potential bidders’ interest in the tender negatively. Therefore the DCCA has focused its assessment of the merger within the period from the time of the notification and until April 2020.

Mergers with horizontal overlaps may significantly impede effective competition through unilateral effects. On the basis of an overall assessment the DCCA considered that the merger would give rise to unilateral effects in the market for retail provision of TV services to end users in the form of i) reduction of supply of a la carte products and/or ii) higher prices on a la carte products. In the market for retail supply of fixed Internet access services to end users the merger would give rise to unilateral effects in the form of tying of supply of fixed Internet access with supply of TV services provided through the DTT network.

The DCCA did not find that the merger would cause coordinated effects.

Overall the DCCA considered that the merger would significantly impede effective competition in the markets for retail provision of TV services to end users and for retail supply of fixed Internet access services to end users.

However the parties offered commitments that commits SE to continue to supply the a la carte products that Boxer supplies at the time of the notification and not to increase prices on a la carte products. The commitments also prevent SE from tying supply of fixed Internet access to end users with supply of TV services provided through the DTT network. The commitments will expire on 3 April 2020. 

The Danish Competition Council assessed that the commitments are sufficient to address the unilateral effects identified by the DCCA.

On 27 September 2017 the Danish Competition Council approved the merger with commitments.