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Viasat gets European Commission approval for merger with Inmarsat

The two companies are expected to complete the deal within the next few days.

The two companies are expected to complete the deal within the next few days.

The headquarters of Viasat in Carlsbad, California.
The headquarters of Viasat in Carlsbad, California. (Courtesy image)

A California-based provider of satellite communications has won a key approval from a European regulator to merge with a British rival.

This week, the European Commission (EC) gave its blessing to Viasat’s proposed takeover of London-based Inmarsat, a move that followed similar approvals by the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the Competition & Markets Authority earlier this month.

“The two companies will now work to expedite completion of the transaction, which is expected to close by the end of this month,” a spokesperson for Viasat said in a statement on Thursday.

The acquisition will give Viasat a global footprint through Inmarsat’s fleet of satellites used for data and telecom services around the world. Viasat is best known in the United States for providing satellite-based broadband Internet service on domestic flights, as well as Internet connectivity to suburban and rural Americans.

When the deal closes, Viasat will become the world’s biggest provider of in-flight Internet service.

“This is a transformative combination that advances our common ambitions to connect the world,” Viasat’s executive chairman, Mark Dankberg, said in a statement in November 2021 when the merger was first proposed. “The unique fusion of teams, technologies and resources provides the ingredients and scale needed for profitable growth through the creation and delivery of innovative broadband and [Internet of Things] services in new and existing fast-growing segments and geographies.”

“Joining with Viasat is the right combination for Inmarsat at the right time,” Rajeev Suri, the chief executive of Inmarsat, said in a statement. “Viasat is a terrific innovator and Inmarsat brings some powerful additions: global reach, a broad distribution channel, robust business momentum and a presence in highly attractive global mobility segments. Together, the two companies will create a new global player with the scale and scope to help shape the future of a dynamic and growing industry.”

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is an award-winning journalist with more than 10 years of experience covering the business of television and radio broadcasting, streaming services and the overall media industry. In addition to his work as publisher of The Desk, Matthew contributes regularly to StreamTV Insider and KnowTechie, and has worked for several well-known news organizations, including Thomson Reuters, McNaughton Newspapers, Grasswire, Comstock's magazine, KTXL-TV and KGO-TV. Matthew is a member of IRE, a trade organization for investigative reporters and editors, and is based in Northern California.

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