Mobile telecommunications company Yettel Bulgaria has asked the Commission for Protection of Competition (CPC) to block the sale of assets of Bulgarian satellite TV provider Bulsatcom to Luxemburg-registered telecom service provider Slovenia Broadband, Dnevnik news outlet reported on March 7.
At the end of February, Slovenia Broadband notified CPC of the deal and at the time Slovenia Broadband, which owns United Group, said there was no need to make further checks of the acquisition.
United Media is the owner of the Vivacom telecom and the Nova Broadcasting Group in Bulgaria.
Following objections by Yettel and A1, the CPC launched a probe into the deal at the end of February to find out whether it would breach competition rules.
Yettel claims that the deal would secure United Media a dominant position on the market with over 60% in the TV distribution market and nearly 40% in the internet access market.
In August 2022, local media reported that Bulsatcom would be acquired by the Bulgarian businessman Spas Russev. However, in December media reported that United Group had lent Russev’s Viva Corporate €127mn to finance the Bulsatom deal.
According to the loan agreement between United Group and Viva Corporate, Bulsatcom’s mobile stations and optical fibre network would be transferred to United Group, with Bulsatcom immediately then leasing back the optical networks.
Yettel asked the CPC to investigate whether there was a connection between Rusev’s businesses and Vivacom and claimed that the loan agreement would allow United Group to influence decisions about Bulsatcom.