The Federal Cartel Office (FCO) is planning to block a merger between all cable network operators in Germany, according to the Handelsblatt, citing an FCO spokeswoman. In the past two months cable network operators Kabel Deutschland (KDG), Unitymedia and Kabel BW have been testing the water for the creation of a nationwide cable network operator. At present, the market is composed of various regional cablecos, while a national operator would be better positioned to compete with incumbent telco Deutsche Telekom (DT) and the country’s wireless operators, according to KDG CEO Adrian von Hammerstein. He also announced at the March Cable Congress in Berlin that a merger between the country’s cablecos would help achieve the federal government’s target to have 2Mbps broadband in every household by 2011.
According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms database, KDG is 88%-owned by Providence Equity Partners, while Unitymedia’s largest shareholders are Finakabel Holding (35%), Apollo (29%) and Golden Tree (7%) and Kabel BW is wholly owned by Swedish investment house EQT.