- Digita acquires Finnish DNA’s pay-TV business
- DNA boss says business was “a minor part” of its services
- EU approves DNA shares to Norwegian telecoms firm Telenor
Finland telecommunications service provider DNA has agreed to sell its terrestrial pay-TV network to rival Digita.
Under the deal, Digita will acquire DNA’s terrestrial TV network pay-TV business as well as its terrestrial network pay-TV customers, in accordance with the agreement on 1 January 2020.
The deal requires final approval from the competition authorities, which is expected in the autumn of 2019 with the sale price not disclosed by either parties.
According to the company statement, DNA will continue its operations as the leading pay-TV operator in the cable and broadband networks.
Helsinki-based DNA provides mobile and fixed telecom service and is the third largest operator in Finland with 2.9 million subscribers and a 28% market share.
DNA senior vice president consumer business Pekka Väisänen said: “The terrestrial network pay-TV business now being sold has been a minor part of DNA’s television service package.
“We will continue as Finland’s leading TV operator in the cable network and provide nationwide services in both the cable and broadband networks for our more than 600,000 customers. We also have about 250,000 DNA TV customers.”
Väisänen explained Digita is in the best position to develop this business and services, as a strong terrestrial network expert.
He added: “As part of this agreement, we have agreed to continue selling these services through our extensive sales network. We will therefore continue to serve these customers in our own service channels as a partner to Digita.”
The European Commission announced on Tuesday that it has approved the transfer of more than half the shares of Finnish mobile operator DNA to Norwegian telecoms firm Telenor.
The commission said the sale was not a threat to competition in the telecom sector.
Telenor will buy 54%of DNA shares from two other firms - Finda Telecoms and PHP Holding, which own 28.3 and 25.8% of the firm, respectively.
The Norwegian telecoms giant initially announced the deal in April and Telenor said that once the deal is complete, it plans to launch a required tender offer for the remaining shares in DNA.
According to Digital TV Europe, DNA had previously been involved in a extended dispute with public broadcaster Yle over its procurement of DTT distribution services.
The service provider filed a complaint last year that Yle’s procurement process for DVB-T2 distribution of its channels was discriminatory because it allocated responsibility for ensuring that properties are equipped with antennas on the network operator.
DNA claimed it would unfairly penalise it, as VHF frequencies require separate VHF antennas on premises.
In October last year, the operator secured a delay in the process but was subsequently criticsed from Yle and other broadcasters for holding up the roll out of DVB-T2 and 4K UHD TV services.
DNA won the legal battle in January when Finland’s market court prohibited Yle from continuing with its current procurement procedure.
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