Brazil?s competition and antitrust authorities have officially opened proceedings with regard to News Corp.?s takeover of DirecTV. News already controls Sky, the other major DTH provider. Anatel sent its dossier on the proposed merger of Sky and DirecTV to CADE, the Justice Ministry?s competition tribunal, on May 16.
The approval process started with the telecommunications regulator because the law determines that it regulates both companies. CADE can now request expert opinions from the Economic Law Department of the Justice Ministry (SDE) and the Economic Surveillance Department of the Finance Ministry. CADE?s hearings will go forward under case no. 53500.002423/2003. The rapporteur is Miguel Tebar Barrionuevo.
The onset of takeover approval proceedings doesn?t mean the merger of Sky and DirecTV in Brazil has begun. U.S. authorities must first approve News Corp.?s acquisition of a 34% stake in Hughes Electronics, which controls DirecTV.
News filed for approval in Brazil because competition law here requires it regardless of what happens in the U.S. , given the size of the companies involved and the fact that they have subsidiaries which operate locally.