FNE approves Chilevision’s sale to ViacomCBS

The Fiscalia Nacional Economica (FNE), entity in charge of defending and promoting free competition in markets or productive areas of Chilean economy, has announced on Monday, July 5th, its decision to approve the sale of 100% of the FTA TV channel Chilevision’s shares to ViacomCBS. The operation had been officially confirmed in early April. The financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

The entity reported that the operation ‘not only does not create risks for free competition, but would produce a deconcentration effect in the market’, after having developed an investigation that began on May 19th, in which it analyzed the competitive effects of the acquisition of Chilevision by WarnerMedia in the FTA TV, pay TV, advertising and digital markets.

After the analysis, the entity concluded that the acquisition ‘would cause a deconcentration in the market, since the WarnerMedia Group also owns the channels CNN Chile and CDF in Chile (recently rebranded as ‘TNT Sports’), and because the importance of the WarnerMedia Group as a multimedia content provider is much greater than ViacomCBS’. In addition, the FNE reported that the deconcentration would also take place because the WarnerMedia Group ‘has a 40 times greater presence on TV advertising sales than ViacomCBS (excluding Chilevision) , and 12 times higher in digital advertising’.

Therefore, the FNE concluded that both pay TV operators,  FTA TV channels, advertisers and media agencies ‘will find themselves in a better negotiating position after this operation than if Chilevision remained under the WarnerMedia Group’s control’. Finally, the FNE also analyzed agreements around the operation, such as some clauses for not hiring certain workers, and concluded that these ‘are not anti-competitive, because they are directly linked to the operation, they are necessary for its materialization and they are limited in terms of time’.

As reported by ViacomCBS when it confirmed the acquisition of Chilevision, the channel will be led by Juan ‘JC’ Acosta, President at ViacomCBS International Studios and Networks Americas. The acquisition of Chilevision, in turn, joins ViacomCBS catalog, which includes the SVOD OTT Paramount+, recently relaunched in Latin America; as well as the AVOD OTT Pluto TV; the OTT Noggin, focused on interactive learning content for preschool-age children; the production company ViacomCBS International Studios; the Argentine FTA TV channel Telefe; more than 10 pay TV channels, including CBS, Showtime, Paramount Pictures, Nickelodeon, MTV, Comedy Central, BET, Smithsonian Channel, and others; as well as live events and consumer products.