Reliance Industries seeks CCI approval for Viacom18-Star India merger

For the USD 8.5-billion merger of Viacom18 and Star India Pvt Ltd (SIPL), Reliance Industries has sought approval from the regulator; says there would be no adverse impact on competition, as a result of the merger.

By  Storyboard18May 28, 2024 8:29 AM
Reliance Industries seeks CCI approval for Viacom18-Star India merger
Reliance Industries has also assured that there would be no adverse impact on competition, as a result of the merger.

Billionaire Mukesh Ambani-promoted Reliance Industries has sought approval from the Competition Commission of India (CCI) for the $8.5 billion merger between Viacom18 and Star India Pvt Ltd (SIPL). The proposed merger aims to combine the entertainment businesses of Viacom18, a part of Reliance Industries group, and SIPL, wholly owned by The Walt Disney Company (TWDC).

As per a notice filed with the CCI, post-transaction SIPL will transform into a JV held by RIL, Viacom18 and existing TWDC subsidiaries.

Reliance Industries has also assured that there would be no adverse impact on competition, as a result of the merger.

Further, to assist the CCI's evaluation, the company has identified several key markets where significant horizontal overlaps exist— including licensing of audio-visual content rights, distribution of broadcast TV channels, provision of audio-visual content, and supply of advertising space in India, as per the PTI report.

SIPL, a wholly-owned entity of The Walt Disney Company, is engaged in TV broadcasting, motion pictures, and operation of an OTT platform. On the other hand, Viacom18 operates in the business of broadcasting television channels and an OTT platform both in India and globally. Additionally, it is involved in the production and distribution of motion pictures.

Earlier this year, Walt Disney and Reliance Industries announced their intention to merge their media operations in India, creating a ₹70,000 crore ($8.5 billion) giant. If successful, this merger would result in the largest firm in the Indian media and entertainment sector with over 100 channels in multiple languages, two leading OTT platforms, and a viewer base of 750 million across India.

First Published on May 28, 2024 8:19 AM

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