Britain’s competition watchdog said on Wednesday that it was launching an investigation into BT Group’s deal to merge its sports TV business in the U.K. and Ireland with Warner Bros. Discovery in a joint venture.
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) set a July 28 deadline to make a so-called phase 1 decision on whether the planned venture would also result in lesser competition.
It said its probe would look at whether the venture “may be expected to result in a substantial lessening of competition within any market or markets in the United Kingdom for goods or services.”
To assist it with its assessment, the CMA invited “comments on the transaction from any interested party.”
Last month, the entertainment giant and the British telecom firm unveiled their deal to merge their sports media units BT Sport and Eurosport in the U.K. and Ireland in a 50/50 joint venture.
BT, which has rights deals for the likes of English Premier League soccer, English Premiership Rugby and cricket, said last spring that it wanted to focus on its core telecommunications business and was in negotiations with potential partners over the future of loss-making BT Sport.