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Zee, Sony Unit to Divest Three Channels before India Merger

NEW DELHI, Oct 26 (Reuters) - The Indian unit of Japan's Sony and Zee Entertainment Enterprises have agreed to divest three Hindi language channels as part of their deal to create a $10-billion TV behemoth, according to an order by India's competition regulator.

The plan became public on Wednesday as the Competition Commission of India released a detailed copy of its order approving the merger, which it originally sanctioned earlier this month.

Sony and Zee decided to merge their television channels, film assets and streaming platforms in December last year to create a powerhouse in a key growth market of 1.4 billion people, to take on the likes of Netflix and Disney in India.

The regulator had in August warned of further scrutiny of the deal, saying the combined company's "humongous market position" would allow it to enjoy "un-paralleled bargaining power" with 92 channels in India's massive media and entertainment market.

Reporting by Tanvi Mehta and Munsif Vengattil; Editing by Toby Chopra

Source: Reuters

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