Viacom's acquisition of C5 is delayed until September

Big Brother: Northern & Shell agreed to £450 million for C5
Big Brother: Northern & Shell agreed to £450 million for C5

Viacom's purchase of Channel 5 from Northern & Shell is now unlikely to happen until at least September.

The £450 million deal was announced in early May and industry sources said it was originally expected to go through by mid-July.

According to European Commission filings, the three potential areas of competition concern include advertising and programming and broadcasting activities.

Viacom and Channel 5 informed the EC of the deal in June and asked for the merger to be reviewed under a "simplified procedure"; however, the parties then withdrew this notification. A spokesman for the EC said he was unable to comment as the notification has been revoked.

I it is understood that this is just a "procedural glitch" and that the parties intend to re-notify the EC of the merger.

Northern & Shell bought Channel 5 for £103.5 million in 2010 from the German media company RTL Group. The business had made a loss since it launched but made a profit in its first year under the new owner.

A source close to Northern & Shell said it had always expected the process to last until September.  

A spokeswoman for Northern & Shell declined to comment. A spokesman for Via­com had not responded to requests for comment by the time of publication.

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