The European Commission (EC) is due to make a decision on the proposed merger of Dutch cableco Ziggo and cellular operator Vodafone Netherlands by 19 July. The date could be moved back, however, if authorities decide to widen their investigation due to competition concerns. Meanwhile, the Netherlands’ own competition watchdog, the Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM), has applied to the EC to take over the investigation, saying it is a domestic merger and has little bearing on the wider European telecoms sector.
Liberty Global subsidiary Ziggo, which previously operated under the UPC banner, and Vodafone’s Dutch unit announced their plans to merge in February this year, with a view to creating a fully converged telco which would be better placed to compete with the country’s dominant telco KPN. If approved, the tie-up will see the creation of a 50:50 joint venture which will serve 5.2 million mobile users, 3.2 million fixed broadband customers and 4.2 million TV subscribers.