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Dish TV–Videocon d2h merger proposal clears main hurdle; Competition Commission gives nod
MUMBAI: The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has given Dish TV and Videocon d2h its go-ahead to merge their assets, thereby paving the way for the creation of a TV distribution behemoth.
For the two companies, the CCI was the main hurdle to cross as the combined entity would become the largest DTH company in India with a market share of 45%. Dish TV Videocon, the name of the merged entity, would also become the second-largest DTH company in the world by subscribers, behind DirecTV. As of 31 December 2016, Dish TV’s net subscriber base stood at 15.3 million and Videocon d2h at 12.77 million. The combined subscriber strength of Dish TV and Videocon d2h thus exceeds 28 million.
“We have got approval from the CCI for the proposed merger with Videocon d2h,” Dish TV CMD Jawahar Goel told TelevisionPost.com.
Dish TV got the approval note from the CCI on Tuesday. The CCI had approved the proposed merger of the two DTH companies in its meeting on 4 May.
Dish TV will now have to get the nod from the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) and the National Company Law Tribunal before it can go ahead with the merger. However, these are more in nature of procedural issues, and it is just a matter of time before the merger between Videocon d2h and Dish TV gets completed.
As reported earlier by TelevisionPost.com, Dish TV has got the approval of capital markets regulator SEBI for the proposed merger with Videocon d2h.
Dish TV expects the merger to complete by October this year. Applications were filed during the quarter ended 31 December 2016 with the CCI and the stock exchanges for obtaining their approvals.
The DTH industry in India has 62.65 million active subscribers, according to data provided by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) till 31 December 2016.
In terms of market share, Dish TV had the highest share with 25%, closely followed by Tata Sky at 23%. Videocon d2h and Airtel Digital TV had 20% share each. Sun Direct had 10% share of the market while Reliance Digital TV’s share was a miniscule 2%. This is based on data provided by DTH operators to TRAI.
Dish TV has a mix of 70% rural subscribers and 30% urban subscribers (top 200 towns). In the case of Videocon d2h, rural subscribers comprise 60% while urban accounts for the rest 40%.
In November 2016, Dish TV and Videocon d2h announced their merger proposal. Upon closing of the proposed transaction, Dish TV Videocon shall continue to be listed on the NSE and the BSE in India and on the Luxembourg Stock Exchange in the form of GDRs.