The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) cleared a move by BT Group and Warner Bros. Discovery to merge their respective sports broadcasting offerings, allowing the companies to complete the creation of a joint venture in the coming weeks.
The CMA opened a probe into the proposed sports broadcasting venture in June, a month after BT announced the agreement with Warner Bros. Discovery to create a 50:50 joint venture combining BT Sport with Eurosport UK.
Completion of the initial probe was due by 28 July, after which the CMA would declare whether it would clear the deal or commence a deeper investigation involving a detailed assessment of any competition implications.
BT and Warner Bros. Discovery welcomed clearance of the JV in a joint statement, adding the decision allows them to complete the deal in the coming weeks and transfer assets into the new company.
BT Sport and Eurosport UK will initially retain their separate brands and product propositions in the market, before ultimately being brought together under a single brand.
Marc Allera, CEO of BT’s Consumer division and future chairman of the JV, said clearance from the CMA was a huge milestone while Andrew Georgiou, MD of Warner Bros. Discovery Sports Europe added it was “a big win for fans in the UK and Ireland”.