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Business deals

Sony-Zee merger OK'd by India's competition regulator, with caveats

Details of conditions for approval still undisclosed

India's antitrust regulator in August had warned of further scrutiny of the proposed merger between Sony's local unit and Zee Entertainment Enterprises, citing the "humongous market position" of the entity that would be formed.   © Reuters

NEW DELHI (Reuters) -- India's competition regulator on Tuesday approved a merger between the Indian unit of Japan's Sony and Zee Entertainment Enterprises, but with certain conditions.

The Competition Commission of India did not elaborate on the conditions. Sony and Zee did not immediately respond to Reuters requests for comment.

Zee and Sony had offered concessions such as pricing discounts to help ease concerns of the regulator over their merger, sources told Reuters last month.

The antitrust regulator had in August warned of further scrutiny of the deal, saying their "humongous market position" would allow them to enjoy "un-paralleled bargaining power" with 92 channels in India's massive media and entertainment market.

Sony and Zee decided to merge their television channels, film assets and streaming platforms in December last year to create a powerhouse in a key growth market of 1.4 billion people, to take on the likes of Netflix and Disney in India.

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