News Corp’s bid to acquire Disney’s stake in their joint venture ESPN Star Sports (ESS) was approved by the Competition Commission of India (CCI) without conditions. News Corp is the parent company of the Star Group in India, which produces and distributes a number of general entertainment, news and movie pay-TV channels in India. ESS produces and distributes several sport pay-TV channels in India.
The Commission concluded that the transaction will not give rise to any competition concerns in the Indian broadcasting sector since the joint venture partners in ESS are not competing with each other in the market for broadcasting of sports channels. Further, ESS will continue to be subject to strong competition from other sports channels in the Indian market, such as DD Sports, Ten Sports, Ten Cricket, Neo Sports Plus among others. A CRA team including Cristina Caffarra, Hristina Dantcheva and Gareth Shier advised News Corp during the notification process.