Bulgarian Telco Vivacom Cleared to Acquire Telnet and Networx

NERA’s client Vivacom was cleared by the Bulgarian competition authority, the Commission on Protection of Competition (CPC), to acquire two regional telecommunications firms, Telnet and Networx, unconditionally after a Phase 2 review.

NERA’s team, under the leadership of Directors Adrien Cervera-Jackson and Dr. Gabriella Monahova, advised Vivacom and its counsel Kambourov & Partners through the process. The NERA team submitted two expert reports to the CPC explaining that the transactions (separately or taken together) were unlikely to raise horizontal or vertical competition concerns. The analysis focused on assessing potential horizontal unilateral effects in the supply of retail fixed broadband, wholesale and retail provision of dedicated capacity, and retail supply of pay TV services at a national level and in the regions affected by the transactions. The analysis also dismissed potential vertical input foreclosure concerns in relation to the wholesale supply of pay TV channels to retailers.

Vivacom is the incumbent fixed network operator in Bulgaria supplying fixed telephony and broadband, pay TV and mobile services nationally, while Telnet is a local fixed telecoms operator active primarily in Veliko Tarnovo. Networx is a regional fixed telecoms player active in Northern Bulgaria, primarily in Ruse.

On 29 June 2023, the CPC cleared Vivacom’s acquisition of both firms unconditionally at Phase 2.
For more information, see the CPC ruling here (in Bulgarian).