December 5, 2019 / 6:47 PM / 8 months ago

Mexico's Televisa wins injunction on part of Disney-Fox deal; merger unaffected

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexican broadcaster Grupo Televisa won an injunction against Walt Disney Co’s acquisition of Twenty-First Century Fox Inc’s assets in Mexico, but Mexico’s market regulator said on Thursday that the ruling would not stall the deal.

FILE PHOTO: The logo of broadcaster Televisa is pictured at its offices in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, November 16, 2017. Picture taken November 16, 2017. REUTERS/Jose Luis Gonzalez

Televisa said the court had ordered the regulator, the Federal Telecommunications Institute (IFT) to review its claim that the merger would create an “illegal concentration” in the Mexican broadcast market. But the regulator said the court’s decision has only a narrow application.

“We are very pleased that the federal judiciary has ordered a full review of the merger in light of the arguments we presented almost a year ago,” Televisa said in a statement.

But the IFT said the court’s decision applies only to an analysis conducted by one of its own units and the unit’s decision to reject a complaint by Televisa. The IFT said the decision does not relate to the regulator’s finding on market concentration. It called the injunction “not definitive.”

Televisa had filed multiple complaints related to its contention about the deal’s impact on competition in the Mexican market.

The court’s ruling “does not stop the Disney-Fox merger,” the regulator said in a statement.

Disney (DIS.N) closed its $71 billion purchase of Fox’s film and television assets in March, marking one of the largest media deals in recent history after Disney won a bidding war last year against cable company Comcast Corp. (CMCSA.O)

The IFT had approved the acquisition but imposed certain conditions, including the sale of Fox Sports channels, arguing the deal would create “considerable” accumulation of market power.

A spokesman for Disney said the company had not been notified of the court’s decision.

“We’ve neither received nor are aware of any injunction,” a Disney spokesman said in a statement.

Fox did not immediately reply to requests for comment.

The court decision was first reported by Bloomberg.

Reporting by Julia Love in Mexico City; Writing by Stefanie Eschenbacher;Editing by Leslie Adler

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