Daily Mail



THE £5.4bn takeover of UK satellite giant Inmarsat by US rival Viasat has been given the provisiona­l green light amid fears over the hollowing out of British industry.

The Competitio­n and Markets Authority (CMA) said that while the two compete closely in the aviation sector – in the supply of satellite connection­s for onboard wifi – the deal does not substantia­lly reduce competitio­n for services provided on flights used by UK customers.

It said the merged company will likely face ‘significan­t competitio­n’ as the sector expands.

The deal faced opposition from MPs as well as technology and defence experts amid a wave of takeovers of strategica­lly important British firms by overseas predators.

Inmarsat is Britain’s largest provider of in-flight wifi for airlines and a major player in internet connection­s for ships. Customers include

‘Customers will not be adversely affected’

the British military and it is seen as crucial to the UK’s economy and national security.

It employs around 1,800 staff across the world, including 860 in London.

Richard Feasey, chairman of the independen­t inquiry group carrying out the CMA investigat­ion, said: ‘This is an evolving and rapidly expanding sector, in which there have been significan­t developmen­ts even during the course of our fourmonth investigat­ion.

‘We see this continuing as demand for satellite connectivi­ty increases.

‘The evidence suggests that the merged company will face significan­t competitio­n in the coming years – from emerging players like Starlink and establishe­d firms like Intelsat and Panasonic.

‘This has led us to provisiona­lly conclude that airlines and their UK customers will not be adversely affected.’

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 ?? ?? Fired up: A rocket launches an Inmarsat satellite into space from Cape Canaveral
Fired up: A rocket launches an Inmarsat satellite into space from Cape Canaveral

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