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Korean pay TV consolidation moves under way

Consolidation of Korea’s pay TV industry appears to be getting into gear, with reports of a plan by mobile leader SK Telecom to acquire number two cable operator Tbroad, following last week’s announcement that LG U+ would move ahead with the acquisition of a majority stake in CJ Hellovision.

According to The Korea Herald, citing unnamed industry sources, the biggest Korean mobile player SK Telecom is planning to acquire Taekwang Group-owned Tbroad, with a deal possibly to be announced by the end of this week. The move would make the combined company the third-biggest pay TV provider in the country after KT and the enlarged LG U+.

LG U+’s board last week approved a plan to acquire a 50%-plus-one-share stake in CJ Hellovsion in a deal reportedly worth KRW800 billion (€628 million). The move, if completed, will make LG U+ the country’s number two pay TV operator with a share of around a quarter of the overall market.

CJ Hellovision’s owner CJ ENM is expected to focus on its content business after the sale of the operator.

The deal is subject to approval by shareholders and by the country’s competition watchdog, the Fair Trade Commission.