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Office of Competition and Consumer Protection

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Agora/Eurozet concentration - reservations expressed by the President of UOKiK

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Agora/Eurozet concentration - reservations expressed by the President of UOKiK
  • President of UOKiK Tomasz Chróstny has informed the parties of their reservations about the transaction of Agora taking over Eurozet and indicated that such concentration may lead to the restriction of competition.
  • The reservations are by no means determinative of the possible final ruling in this case.

An application for granting a consent to the transaction was received by the Authority in October 2019. Agora is at the head of the capital group which mostly operates in the press, publishing, and radio industry as well as sells advertisement. Eurozet i.a. produces and broadcasts radio programs (e.g. Radio Zet), sells advertising time, and manages websites. The activities of the parties to the concentration overlap in particular within the scope of broadcasting radio programs, selling advertising time as well as intermediation in selling advertising time on the radio.

In November 2019, the President of the Authority referred the case to the so-called second stage, which means that it was necessary to conduct market research, whereas a year later, he expressed his reservations about this concentration. Doubts are raised by the acquisition of a competitive advantage on both local and nation-wide market of radio advertisement as well as with regard to the distribution of radio programs. 

According to our findings, the concentration would lead to the establishment of a strong radio group, which may result in distortions in the functioning of competition both at a national level and on local markets. An analysis of concentration on the media market is a difficult process which requires exercising special attention. We wish to protect entrepreneurs operating on this market, for whom competing with other entities would be considerably hampered in the event of duopoly created on such market. It is also extremely important when it comes to ensuring a wide offer for consumers as the more competitive the market, the better the offer.  That is why I have decided to present my reservations about the transaction of Agora taking over Eurozet, says Tomasz Chróstny, President of UOKiK.

In the case of local markets, doubts are raised by the fact that after the concentration, Agora would have more than 40 percent of radio frequencies in Poznań, Opole, and Silesian Agglomeration. However, competitors of the company would have a considerably smaller percentage share. This would impact the possibility of adjusting advertisement to the target audience, thanks to which the company would gain a competitive advantage over other broadcasters of local programs. As a consequence, the entity will be able to strengthen its position on local markets of radio advertisement at the cost of its competitors, adds the President of UOKiK.

The Authority believes that a situation on the national advertising market will look similar. The concentration could lead to the creation of an entity which would only have one equally strong competitor, that is RMF FM. This means that we would deal with duopoly, which in turn could lead to the distortion in the competition and the marginalization of the remaining radio groups and independent radio stations. After the concentration, two main radio stations could resign from intensive competition and maintain higher prices for advertisers or other unfavorable conditions. For consumers this could mean a deterioration in the program offer as the entities could grow at the cost of smaller entities, not as a result of the competition between one another.

In cases where there are reasonable grounds to believe that the concentration will result in restriction of competition, the President of UOKiK submits his reservations about the intended transaction to the undertaking(s) involved in the concentration scheme. The reservations are provided along with a statement of grounds and are by no means determinative of the final outcome of the proceedings.

In accordance with the provisions of applicable laws, the undertakings involved have 14 days to respond to the reservations. This period may be extended by a further two weeks at the request of the undertakings involved.

Additional information for the media:

UOKiK Press Office
Pl. Powstańców Warszawy 1, 00-950 Warszawa, Poland
Phone +48 695 902 088, +48 22 55 60 246
E-mail: [SCODE]Yml1cm9wcmFzb3dlQHVva2lrLmdvdi5wbA==[ECODE]
Twitter: @UOKiKgovPL

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