The European Commission (EC) has cleared the acquisition of German cable operator Kabel Deutschland by British telecoms firm Vodafone Group, after concluding that the transaction would not raise competition concerns. ‘The Commission’s investigation confirmed that the activities of the merging parties were mainly complementary,’ the EC said in a press release, adding that in markets where the two operators’ activities overlap, the increase in market share resulting from the proposed transaction is insignificant and will therefore not greatly alter competition. These markets examined by the EC include: the wholesale and retail supply of TV infrastructure and content services; the retail supply of mobile telephony and wholesale supply of mobile telephony access and call origination services; the retail supply of fixed voice telephony and fixed internet access services; and a possible market for multiple-play offerings.
As previously reported by CommsUpdate, Vodafone secured the minimum 75% shareholder acceptance for its EUR7.7 billion (USD10.1 billion) purchase of Kabel Deutschland, which has a network serving around 8.5 million households in 13 out of 16 states, earlier this month. Shareholders of the cableco who have not yet accepted the proposed deal may be given an additional chance to do so before 30 September. Vodafone says that the combination of its German unit with the Kabel Deutschland will create an operator with 32.4 million mobile, 5.0 million fixed broadband and 7.6 million direct TV customers.