Bezeq gets final regulatory approval for YES merger

24 Jun 2015

With Israeli fixed line incumbent Bezeq having previously unveiled plans to take full control of satellite TV operator YES in a deal said to be worth up to ILS1.05 billion (USD278 million) in February 2015, Reuters now reports that the government has approved the development. Having determined that the deal would not harm competition in the multi-channel TV market, the approval by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is currently acting as communications minister, follows Israel’s cable and satellite TV council saying there was no reason to reject the deal.

In making its case for an approval for its merger with YES, Bezeq had cited competition – and specifically the advantage some rival operators had as a result of international backing – as well as the possible entry of foreign competitors such as Netflix and Apple in the pay-TV sector as the main factors. Notably, however, it has been confirmed that the Ministry of Communications’ (MoC’s) approval is solely for a financial merger of Bezeq and YES, with the structural separation between the two operators to remain in place for now, pending a separate examination.

Israel, Bezeq (Israel Telecommunication Corporation), Yes-DBS Satellite Services