Viasat scored a win in a bid to acquire satellite rival Inmarsat after the UK’s competition authority approved the deal following an in-depth probe into the potential impact on the market.
In a joint statement, the satellite companies noted the UK Competition and Markets Authority ruled the transaction raises no concerns.
Viasat and Inmarsat declared the decision as a milestone in their efforts to gain the various approvals needed, adding they will now focus on securing the outstanding clearances.
The CMA gave the green light without requiring any remedies. In its announcement, the regulator stated there is sufficient competition from companies including Starlink and OneWeb, highlighting the latter’s recent completion of its first constellation of satellites as an example.
Richard Feasey, chair of the inquiry group leading the CMA’s Phase 2 probe, explained the “satellite communications sector is evolving at rapid pace” with new players entering and more birds launching.
Companies “are exploring and entering into new commercial deals”, with all evidence showing “the sector will continue to grow as the demand for satellite connectivity increases”.
Viasat and Inmarsat noted they already had clearance from authorities in Australia and the US. Their proposed deal also faces European Commission scrutiny.
Inmarsat CEO Rajeev Suri commented the CMA approval is “hugely significant for the UK’s space ambitions”, with Viasat chair and CEO Mark Dankberg asserting the combination “will strengthen competition in a dynamic market”, which is attracting “substantial levels of investment”.