May 7, 2014 / 8:37 PM / 4 years ago

Spain's Prisa accepts Telefonica offer for pay-TV business

MADRID, May 7 (Reuters) - Prisa, the indebted Spanish group that publishes El Pais newspaper, on Wednesday said its board had accepted an offer from Telefonica to buy the 56 percent it owns in the pay-TV firm Distribuidora de Television Digital (DTS).

Telefonica, which already owned 22 percent of DTS, known in Spain as Digital+, had made a 725 million euro ($1 billion)binding bid on Tuesday.

The remaining 22 percent of the group is owned by the Spanish unit of Italy’s Mediaset.

In a statement to Spain’s stock market regulator, Prisa, which has been selling off assets for months in a drive to cut debt, said the deal would be closed within the next 30 days.

However, it will still have to receive approval from Spanish or European competition authorities as Telefonica would control about 80 percent of the local pay-TV market after the acquisition.

Earlier on Wednesday, France’s Orange, which struggles to match Telefonica’s attractive offers combining fixed and mobile phone, high-speed Internet and television services, urged antitrust authorities to veto the deal or seek important remedies ensuring fair competition. ($1 = 0.7183 Euros) (Reporting by Julien Toyer; Editing by Robin Pomeroy)

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