LISBON (Reuters) - Portugal’s telecom market watchdog Anacom delivered a blow to takeover plans by Dutch-based Altice for Media Capital, the owner of the TVI television channel, warning it could create serious obstacles to competition and harm consumers.
Altice, which owns the country’s largest telecom operator MEO, agreed to buy Media Capital in July from Spain’s Prisa in a 440 million euro deal.
Anacom said it submitted its report on the proposed MEO-Media Capital merger to the competition authority, which is yet to rule on the issue and has the power to reject the plan or impose conditions for it to go ahead.
Anacom said the proposed terms, which among other things allow the owner to bar its rivals access to its television and radio channels and advertising, “could create significant obstacles to competition in the electronic communications markets”.
It also said that Altice had failed to explain the benefits of the proposed merger between its unit MEO and Media Capital.
Reporting By Andrei Khalip, editing by Axel Bugge