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Breaking: CCI clears Disney UTV takeover after no more than 16 working days

The Mouse smiles (always)
The Mouse smiles (always)
Exclusive: The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has cleared the $454m takeover of UTV by Disney today after 25 calendar days, with J Sagar Associates (JSA), AZB & Partners and Dhall Law Chambers advising.

The CCI made and published the order clearing the takeover on its website today [download].

JSA and AZB were also the transactional advisers of Disney and UTV’s promoters respectively, while Dhall Law Chambers is understood to have represented Disney before the Commission in co-operation with JSA.

It is understood that the strongest point that persuaded the CCI that the takeover would not have an appreciable adverse effect on competition was that the market was intensely competitive and that UTV and Disney also had different strengths and media portfolios, such as Hindi and English movies respectively, as well as strength in different target markets and age groups.

The commission noted in its order:

“Based on […] the examination of the businesses involved, which are commonly characterized by the presence of a large number of players and prevalence of intense competition among them, availability of ample choice and variety of products to the consumers, demand driven nature of the business, interchangeable and converging nature of the businesses involved, relative ease of entry and exit in these businesses, less likelihood of any co-ordinated or exclusionary behaviour, regulatory oversight in TV broadcasting and the future growth potential in addition to the fact that the Acquirer is already in joint control of the Acquired Enterprise, the Commission hereby approves the proposed combination […] as it is not likely to have an appreciable adverse effect on competition.”

The notice was submitted on 1 August and the commission cleared the merger today (25 August).

In the first M&A referred to the Commission, the takeover by Reliance Industrial Infrastructure of Bharti AXA Life’s, was cleared within 10 working days last month. AZB & Partners and Talwar Thakore Associates respectively had advised on that deal, as reported by Legally India.

Photo by Loren Janvier

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