The landmark outcome will open national pay-TV markets that had long existed in their own silos, allowing consumers across the EU access to a wider range of content regardless of their location. Sky, long a marquee investment for Fox architect Rupert Murdoch, changed hands to Comcast last year in a $40 billion deal.
Disney, NBCUniversal, Warner Bros. and Sony, four of the remaining targets of the EU action (with the initially named Paramount and Fox agreeing to earlier provisions), would all face fines in the future if they go back on their pledges, the EU said. For now, the governmental body affirmed in a statement, “These commitments address the Commission’s concerns.”
The EU originally initiated the antitrust case in 2014, bringing formal action the following year and arguing that customers across Europe should have access to Sky’s services in the UK and Ireland. As digital services become more popular and sophisticated, regulators are increasingly interested in creating a single market rather than a collection of more than two dozen.