European Commission clears Viasat’s acquisition of Inmarsat

The merger between US-based satellite operator Viasat and UK-based satellite company Inmarsat has been cleared by the European Commission (EC).

The EC approval comes following clearance of the merger from UK’s Competition & Markets Authority and the US Federal Communications Commission.

An in-depth investigation was launched in February by the EC to assess the proposed $7.3bn sale of Inmarsat to Viasat. The Commission was concerned that the transaction may allow Viasat to reduce competition in the market for the supply of broadband in-flight connectivity (IFC) services to commercial airlines. It had until 29 June 2023, to take a decision.

Viasat and Inmarsat supply businesses globally with satellite connectivity that enables services such as the internet, email, and video calling – including for use on aircraft.

The deal was first proposed around 18 months which aims to integrate the spectrum, satellite and terrestrial assets of both companies into a global high-capacity hybrid space and terrestrial network, capable of delivering superior services in fast-growing commercial and government sectors.

Viasat said the two companies will now work to expedite completion of the transaction, which is expected to close by the end of this month.

Viasat CEO Mark Dankberg described the transaction between Viasat and Inmarsat a “transformative combination”. He added, “the unique fusion of teams, technologies and resources provides the ingredients and scale needed for profitable growth through the creation and delivery of innovative broadband and IoT services in new and existing fast-growing segments and geographies.”

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