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Broadband

German regulator asks EC for say on Vodafone takeover of Unitymedia

Thursday 8 November 2018 | 13:04 CET | News

Germany's competition regulator has made a formal request to the European Commission to take over the investigation into Vodafone's proposed acquisition of cable operator Unitymedia. The Bundeskartellamt said the deal could lead to significant changes on the German cable TV and telecoms markets. 

Vodafone filed the merger with the European Commission in mid-October. The deal also covers its planned takeover of Liberty Global's cable activities in Hungary, Romania and Czech republic. The German regulator only wants a say on the German part of the transaction. 

The Commission confirmed that it received the referral request from the German agency on 07 November. It will have 35 working days to decide whether to hand the case to the Bundeskartellamt.  

The request is likely to delay a decision on the deal from the Commission's original deadline of 11 December. Vodafone and Liberty Global have said they aim to close the deal by mid-2019.

The takeover of Unitymedia, after Vodafone already acquired Kabel Deutschland, has raised concerns that new cable monopoly may be re-forming in Germany. Several industry associations and competitors have already called for the deal to be blocked or require concessions, saying the merged company could limit competition and hold back broadband upgrades in Germany.



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Categories: Fixed
Companies: European Commission / Kabel Deutschland / Liberty Global / Unitymedia / Vodafone
Countries: Germany
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