According to Reuters, Israeli incumbent Bezeq has announced that the Supreme Court has declined to approve its proposed merger with its satellite TV unit YES. Bezeq had sought to increase its stake in the subsidiary from 49.8% to 58%, having agreed to conditions set forth by the Israeli antitrust court. However, the antitrust commissioner raised objections to the proposed tie-up, claiming such a move would be anti-competitive as Bezeq is building a next-generation network capable of offering IPTV services; the commissioner subsequently filed an appeal in the Supreme Court to halt the merger. Eurocom, YES’s other major shareholder with a 30% stake, has also indicated its opposition to the merger plans.
Bezeq has pursued full control of YES in order that it could offer a full triple-play package of fixed line voice, high speed internet and TV, allowing it to compete with rival HOT-Telecommunication Systems, which already offers such a bundle.