ICA amends terms of Bezeq’s merger with yes to permit pay-TV bundling

15 Apr 2021

Bezeq has announced that the Israel Competition Authority (ICA) has published a decision regarding an amendment to the terms of the merger of the telco and its satellite subsidiary DBS Satellite Services (yes).

Outlining the development in a press release, Bezeq said that as per the amendment the ICA will now permit its subsidiaries – Pelephone (mobile), Bezeq International (an ISP and international long-distance provider) and yes (pay-TV) – to sell communication bundles that include internet infrastructure access, ISP services and TV services without any obligation to sell the TV element of the service ‘at a separate price which will be uniform for both bundle buyers and those who do not buy a bundle’.

Previously, under the conditional approval of the merger of Bezeq and yes in March 2014, the terms of the tie-up meant that Bezeq was required to offer pay-TV services with a separate charge from any bundle of services. With such a condition having been imposed for fear that Bezeq would offer pay-TV as part of its bundled services at predatory prices, the ICA at the time expressed concern that this could make it harder for competitors to enter the sector. Now, however, in amending the terms of the Bezeq/yes merger, the competition watchdog cited increased competition in the domestic market as being behind its decision to ease restrictions on Bezeq.

In the wake of the decision, Bezeq has said it now ‘studying the amendment and its impact on its operations and the activity of its subsidiary companies’.

Israel, Bezeq (Israel Telecommunication Corporation), Pelephone