The Competition Council cleared the acquisition of control over Seagram Company Ltd by Vivendi SA and Canal+. The parties intend to create a global media and communications group, through transactions in several stages. According to the concentration agreement concluded by the parties, Vivendi Universal created through the merger of Vivendi SA and Canal+, acquires control over The Seagram Company Ltd.

The Vivendi group operates in public utility businesses like water and energy supply, moreover it provides telecommunications, internet and cable-tv. services. In Hungary the Vivendi subsidiaries provide public utility, telecommunications and cable-tv. services, their aggregate annual turnover is 18.5 billion HUF.

Canal+, as indirect participant within Vivendi Universal, focuses its main activity on production, distribution of films and other audio-visual products, on acquisition and resale of broadcasting rights. The undertaking has no affiliated firms in Hungary, however through subsidiaries abroad, it realised a 206.7 million HUF turnover in 1999.

The Canadian Seagram produces musical compositions, videos, movies, has interest in several cable-tv.-operators, deals with the marketing of broadcasting rights, operates entertainment parks and wholesale outlets. The Seagram group`s annual turnover was 1.7 billion HUF in 1999.

Although the concentration takes place between foreign undertakings, due to the possible effects on the Hungarian market, it falls within the Hungarian competition law. As the parties` aggregate annual turnover exceeded the thresholds laid down in the Competition Act, the concentration was subject to the authorisation of the Competition Office.

The parties have overlapping activities only on the market of marketing broadcasting rights, nevertheless their approximate market share is less than 10%. The Competition Office may not refuse the authorisation of the concentration if it does not create or strengthen a dominant position, does not impede the formation, development or continuation of effective competition, consequently the Competition Council cleared it.

February 22, 2001. Budapest

Fógel Jánosné dr. sk. előadó
dr. Bodócsi András sk.
dr. Sólyom Eszter sk.
Szabó Györgyi