DIGI's takeover of Invitel re-approved by comptroller

20 Mar 2020

Hungary’s competition authority (Gazdasagi Versenyhivatal, GVH) issued a decision on 18 March 2020 approving the acquisition of fixed network operator Invitel by fixed/mobile group DIGI Hungary. The takeover was completed in May 2018 but in November that year GVH revoked its decision clearing the deal, permitting the DIGI/Invitel integration to continue under trustee supervision, pending the adoption of a final decision. GVH reopened its assessment of markets post DIGI-Invitel merger, specifically relating to DIGI’s subsidiary i-TV which provides cable TV services by renting other network owners’ infrastructure. Following its subsequent analysis of DIGI’s proposals aimed at addressing competition concerns in connection with the takeover, GVH has now re-authorised the deal. DIGI must fulfil all remedial measures within three months.

A release from DIGI’s parent Digi Communications says that it agreed with GVH that Invitel would sell to a third party its operations in 14 Hungarian settlements – alongside parts of its network in the Szeged settlement – overlapping with DIGI Hungary’s own network, the sale and purchase agreement having been executed on 9 January 2020. Furthermore, in response to the competition concerns identified by GVH in connection with 67 settlements where Invitel had overlapping services with Digi subsidiary i-TV, the group proposed to ensure that i-TV’s rental agreements with local network operators would not be terminated until 31 December 2023 (but will be discontinued from 1 January 2024).

Hungary, DIGI (Hungary), Digi Communications, Invitel (a subsidiary of DIGI)