© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Logo of British Telecom (BT) is displayed outside a store in London, ritain, November 15, 2019. REUTERS/Simon Dawson/File Photo
(Reuters) -Britain’s competition watchdog said on Wednesday it had started investigating BT Group (LON:)’s deal to combine its sports broadcasting business with Warner Bros Discovery (NASDAQ:).
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said it had until July 28 to make its phase 1 decision on whether the joint venture between the country’s biggest broadband and mobile provider and the U.S. company will result in lesser competition in the UK.
BT, a former British telecoms monopoly, clinched a sports broadcasting tie-up with Discovery last month after months of discussions with the American media company.
The deal to merge BT’s sports TV unit with Discovery’s Eurosport in Britain and Ireland, enables the British company to retain Premier League soccer for its customers, while sharing the burden of expensive broadcast rights.
Media and streaming company Warner Bros Discovery was formed from the $43 billion merger of Discovery Inc and assets of AT&T Inc (NYSE:). Shares in the newly formed company started trading in April.
BT did not immediately respond to a request for comment and Warner Bros were not available outside of regular business hours.