Time Warner Wins Euro Backing for CME Voting Rights

European Commission says company can exercise direct voting rights in Ron Lauder's TV network.

MOSCOW – Time Warner has won European Commission approval to exercise voting rights proportionate to its 49.9% stake in pan-European broadcaster Central European Media. (CME)

The commission said the deal would not hurt competition.

“The Commission’s investigation confirmed that the proposed transaction will not have a negative effect on competition, since the activities of the parties are mainly complementary and not in direct competition with each other,” the EU executive body said in a statement Friday.

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Time Warner’s application to the EC had come ahead of the expiration at the end of June of an agreement allowing CME's founder and a major shareholder, Ron Lauder, to exercise the voting rights of Time Warner's stake on its behalf.

The move comes at a time when Time Warner is expanding more into content provision. The company owns the HBO cable network and Warner Bros. film studio.

Time Warner has been injecting cash into CME, which in March reported a fourth-quarter loss for the end of 2012 as some of its operations struggled in a difficult business environment.

CME owns and runs TV Nova in the Czech Republic, TV Markiza in Slovakia, and has stations in Bulgaria, Croatia, Romania and Slovenia.