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Telia buys Bonnier Broadcasting

Swedish telco Telia has bought Scandinavian broadcast group Bonnier for SEK9.2bn (US$1bn), giving it control of channels including TV4 and Finland’s MTV.

Following completion of the deal a new Telia Company will be formed to house the firm’s existing Telia TV operations as well as Bonnier Broadcasting.

Bonnier’s current CEO, Casten Almqvist, will lead the new arm, which includes steaming service C More.

By adding channels and streaming services in Sweden and Finland, Telia is following a trend seen elsewhere in the world for telcos to add content offerings to their services and compete against global streaming giants.

It is subject to regulatory approval, however. The Swedish government owns a 37% stake in Telia so this move would make it the biggest shareholder in Sweden’s leading commercial broadcaster, TV4, as well as public broadcaster SVT.

The move follows Telia’s NOK21bn (US$2.56bn) deal for Danish firm TDC’s Norwegian TV and broadband businesses Get and TDC Norway this week.

It’s part of a big summer of M&A activity across the globe, which includes protracted deals for Walt Disney to buy assets belonging to 21st Century Fox, Comcast and Disney fighting it out over European satcaster Sky, and AT&T battling the US government to take control of Time Warner.

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