Telia offers concessions to address EU concerns over Bonnier deal

FILE PHOTO: Telia sign is seen on a building in Vilnius, Lithuania March 30, 2019. REUTERS/Ints Kalnins/File Photo

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Swedish telecoms operator Telia TELIA.ST has offered concessions to try to address EU antitrust concerns over its $957 million bid for Bonnier Broadcasting, the European Commission said on Tuesday.

Telia put in its proposals on Monday, a filing on the EU competition watchdog’s website showed.

The Commission, which did not provide details in line with its policy, will now seek feedback from rivals and customers. It has set a Nov. 19 deadline for its decision.

Telia offered concessions in April but these were rejected as insufficient. For telecoms deals, the Commission typically demands providers sell assets to reinforce a smaller rival or grant competitors access to their network.

Regulatory concerns center on the possibility of Telia shutting out rivals from accessing Bonnier’s TV channels and imposing price rises. Bonnier’s brands include Sweden’s biggest commercial broadcaster TV4, streaming service C More and Finnish MTV. It competes with state broadcaster SVT.

Telia declined to comment. In May, it said that it was confident EU concerns on the deal would be resolved.

Reporting by Foo Yun Chee, additional reporting by Anna Ringstrom in Stockholm; Editing by Susan Fenton/Keith Weir