Competition Commission on Tuesday gave its conditional approval for the proposed merger between media groups Sony and Zee, according to sources.
The approval has been given after the Competition Commission of India (CCI) accepted the voluntary remedies proposed by the parties to allay possible anti-competitive concerns, the sources close to the development said.
The proposed merger of Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd (ZEEL) with Sony Pictures Network India (SPNI) was announced in September last year.
The deal would help Sony to expand its media business in India. SPNI is an indirect wholly-owned subsidiary of Sony Group Corporation, Japan.
Deals beyond a certain threshold require the approval of the CCI.
In a tweet, the watchdog said it has cleared the deal with certain modifications. The proposed merger was announced in September last year.
CCI said it has approved the "amalgamation of Zee Entertainment Enterprises Limited (ZEE) and Bangla Entertainment Private Limited (BEPL) with Culver Max Entertainment Private Limited (CME), with certain modifications".
Sources close to the development said the approval was given after the regulator accepted the voluntary remedies proposed by the parties.
Specific details could not be immediately ascertained.
The regulator had issued show cause notices to the parties after it initially concluded that the deal could have an adverse impact on competition, the sources said.
Subsequently, the parties proposed voluntary remedies, which have been accepted by the regulator, they added.
Deals beyond certain thresholds require the approval of the CCI, which keeps a tab on unfair business practices and also promotes fair competition in the marketplace.
ZEEL, in September 2021, said it has entered into a non-binding term sheet with SPNI to bring together their linear networks, digital assets, production operations and programme libraries.
The combined entity will own over 70 TV channels, 2 video streaming services (ZEE5 and Sony LIV) and two film studios (Zee Studios and Sony Pictures Films India), making it the largest entertainment network in India, ZEEL said in September last year.
CME, earlier known as Sony Pictures Networks India Pvt Ltd (SPNI), Bangla Entertainment Pvt Ltd (BEPL), ZEEL and Essel Group participants are part of the combination, as per the notice filed with CCI in April 2022.