The Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commission have granted early termination of their Hart Scott Rodino antitrust review of QVC's proposed purchase of Zulily.
John Malone's Liberty Interactive (which owns QVC) announced last month it had a $2.4 billion deal to buy the online retailer. (http://www.multichannel.com/news/content/qvc-group-plucks-zulily-24b-dea.... Both boards have approved the deal, but any merger above approximately $75 million in value has to get an antitrust sign-off from either DOJ or the FTC (they divvy them up) before it can close.
Early termination means the review was concluded early with the government concluding there was no reason to sue to block the deal or negotiate conditions and a settlement that would bring it into line with antitrust laws.
Liberty Interactive has said that QVC and Zulily will maintain their separate brands, but that the combination means both can expand their product lines and vendor networks.
Also look for Zulily branded on-air and online sales events.
Liberty Interactive has said that Zulily president and CEO Darrell Cavens will continue to head up that operation, along with the rest of the existing senior management. Zulily Chairman Mark Vadon gets a seat on the Liberty Interactive board and will provide "strategic counsel and support" to both QVC and Zulily.
The government OK paves the way for a projected fourth-quarter closing.
Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.
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