The European Commission has cleared Discovery Communication’s proposed purchase of Scripps Network Interactive, subject to certain conditions in Poland.
Discovery agreed to make Polish news channel TVN24, as well as TVN24 BiS, available to third-party distributors. As part of the deal the channels will be available to TV distributors in Poland “at a reasonable fee for seven years,” Reuters reported.
This concession was made after the Commission identified TVN24 – which is part of Scripps’ TVN broadcaster – as “crucial to retail TV offerings,” according to Reuters.
“We are pleased with the positive decision of the European Commission,” David Zaslav, president and CEO of Discovery, said in a statement. “We believe that joining the Discovery and Scripps Networks’ family of brands and assets will allow us to better serve our passionate fans with more content on more platforms worldwide, while at the same time optimizing our business for greater efficiency.”
Discovery first announced the cash-and-stock deal, valued at $14.6 billion, in July.
When the acquisition was announced Discovery said the combined company would have a strong range of popular TV networks to offer viewers. Discovery already owns its namesake channel, along with TLC and Animal Planet, while Scripps will add favorites like HGTV, Food Network, and Travel Channel to the portfolio.
The deal still needs approval from U.S. antitrust regulators, but Discovery expects it to close later this quarter.
The companies will continue to operate as separate and independent entities until the transaction closes.