Premiere, Arena eye regulatory OK

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BERLIN -- Germany's cartel authorities look likely to greenlight a satellite distribution deal between Teutonic pay TV players Premiere and Arena.

A spokeswoman for Germany's regulatory authority said Thursday that the deal will likely be approved with only minor changes required. She declined to give details.

Competitors Premiere and Arena signed a deal in February to jointly distribute and promote Arena's soccer channel Bundesliga Live over satellite.

A key aspect of the deal would see Arena take a 16.7% stake in Premiere. But Parm Sandhu, head of Arena parent company Unity Media, has said he was willing to do without the Premiere stake if it means getting regulatory approval for the deal.

Official approval is expected by the end of the month.

Premiere shares were up 5.6% to €18.53 ($21.20) on the news in trading Thursday.
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