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Zee-Sony merger: Groups agree to sell 3 Hindi channels to address anti-competition concerns

Sony and Zee media groups have voluntarily agreed to sell their three Hindi Channels- Big Magic, Zee Action, and Zee Classic to address possible anti-competition concerns arising out of their proposed mega-merger deal. Sony and Zee have submitted their proposals to the Competition Commission of India (CCI). They have issued a 58-page long detailed order which informs that the two groups have agreed to divest Big Magic, which is a Hindi general entertainment channel, as well as Zee Action and Zee Classic.

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Sony-Zee merged three Hindi Channels- Key Points

  • The two media groups, Sony and Zee, have voluntarily agreed to the modification to the proposed deals after CCI’s prima-facie opinion.
  • Deals beyond a certain threshold compulsory require the approval of CCI, which seeks to ensure fair competition in the marketplace.
  • CCI cleared the proposed Sony-Zee merger deal, which was announced in September.
  • The regulator has also mandated various requirements to be fulfilled by the purchaser concerned before buying the three channels.
  • One condition is that the purchaser should not be “Star India Private Limited or Viacom18 Media Private Limited”.
  • The purchaser should be independent of and with no connections to whatsoever with the resultant entity and its affiliates.
  • It should not be either a past or present employee or director as per the order.

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