Belgacom granted approval for Scarlet takeover; network to be divested

10 Nov 2008

Belgium’s largest broadband operator by subscribers, Belgacom, is expected to complete the purchase of internet service provider Scarlet by the end of November, after the deal won approval from competition authorities, according to Reuters. The Belgian Competition Council (BCC) is understood to have formally cleared the EUR185 million (USD235.4 million) acquisition, which was originally announced in February this year, despite previous statements by the chief investigator of the Belgian watchdog in July 2008 claiming that the takeover posed a ‘significant obstacle’ to competition in the country’s broadband sector. However, the approval is conditional, and it has also been reported that Belgacom must first sell Scarlet’s fibre-optic network and cap prices for broadband services before the deal can be finalised.

Belgium, Proximus