The Antimonopoly Committee of Ukraine (AMCU) published a decision on its website yesterday (22 April 2021) permitting broadband network operator Datagroup to purchase three companies belonging to the Volia group, the country’s largest cable TV/broadband provider, namely Kyiv Telecommunication Networks, TELESVIT and Oisiw Ltd. Naming the seller in the transactions as Volia Ltd, the AMCU noted that it assessed three relevant markets in the merger as: provision of services for access to TV packages to legal entities and individuals; provision of internet access services to legal entities and individuals; and provision of server hosting services.
The AMCU concluded that the transactions did not lead to monopolisation or significant restriction of competition, after its merger investigation established that:
• the largest aggregate share of concentration participants is in the regional market of access to TV packages for individuals within the Kiev region, and it does not exceed 29% in 2018, 2019 and the first nine months of 2020
• in each of the involved markets there is a significant number of businesses that provide these services. Consumers of services have a wide choice of internet and television providers and are free to choose between them
• almost all competitors of the merging parties surveyed by the Committee reported that given the high level of competition, these concentrations will not change the existing market balance within the affected territorial boundaries; the markets are saturated and dynamically developing.
On 22 December 2020 Datagroup, backed by Horizon Capital, reached an agreement to acquire 100% of Volia, subject to antimonopoly approval. Datagroup is largely focused on the B2B segment, which accounts for less than 5% of Volia’s revenues. The European Bank for Reconstruction & Development has provided Datagroup a USD65 million loan to help finance its Volia purchase.