Vodafone Spain has complained to the country’s competition authority about Telefónica’s deal with Disney.
According to El Espanyol, Vodafone has sent a letter to the Comisión Nacional de los Mercados y la Competencia (CNMC) which claims that the deal for Movistar to be the ‘strategic distributor’ of Disney+ violates conditions imposed upon Telefónica when it acquired Canal+’s Spanish operations.
The report says Vodafone had been negotiating a non-exclusive deal with Disney to bring Disney+ to its TV platform ‘for months’ and that the deal between Movistar and Disney+ is effectively an exclusivity deal.
When Disney+ launches in Spain on March 24, Movistar will be the only operator to offer access – leaving Vodafone justifiably aggrieved.
The announcement also opens the door for co-productions between Disney+ and Movistar+.
However, Telefónica was likely always Disney’s preference for a deal in Spain. The pair have had a long-standing relationship, during which Disney has launched a dedicated Movistar channel along with pop-ups for Disney-Pixar and VOD content.
Telefónica is the leading operator in the space, ending 2019 with 4.1 million subscribers out of a Spanish total of 6.9 million.
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