Finance & Economics

UK Greenlights $7.3 Billion Merger Between Satellite Rivals Viasat and Inmarsat

The UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has officially approved the proposed merger of Viasat and Inmarsat worth $7.3 billion.

UK Greenlights $7.3 Billion Merger Between Satellite Rivals Viasat and Inmarsat

Source: Pixabay.com

London-based Inmarsat and its American competitor Viasat offer commercial airlines satellite services, including in-flight Wi-Fi.

The news about the approval of the merger process appeared about two months after the CMA announced that it would most likely make a positive decision on this transaction, and about 16 months after the first information about the uniting of the companies.

Initially, the CMA stated that the merger could potentially reduce the level of competition, which would entail an increase in the cost of in-flight Wi-Fi for consumers. Over time, the regulator changed its position, coming to the conclusion that there was sufficient competition from newcomers in the field of low Earth orbit (LEO), and other well-known players, including the company owned by Elon Musk SpaceX, which operates Starlink.

Starlink has already launched thousands of satellites and established commercial relationships with airlines and network operators such as T-Mobile.

Richard Fisi, Chairman of the CMA research group, says that the development of the satellite communications sector is proceeding at a rapid pace. More and more companies of the relevant profile are appearing on the market, more and more satellites are being launched into space and the number of commercial transactions in this industry is increasing. The head of the research group also noted that current trends indicate the further continuation of active development of the sector against the background of increasing demand for satellite communications.

Richard Fisi said that after the merger, the safety of both airlines and their customers in the UK will be ensured. Separately, he stressed that consumers will continue to benefit from strong competition in the field of satellite communications.

The UK government has already approved the merger deal, noting that this process does not pose any threat to national security.

In February, the European Commission announced an investigation into the deal, saying that following the merger, Viasat could reduce competition in the in-flight broadband market.

As we have reported earlier, UK Antitrust Investigation of Apple Stops After Appeal Win.