1 Aug 2016
Liberty Global and Vodafone Group are likely to win approval for the proposed merger of their respective operations in the Netherlands after offering a number of concessions to appease competition concerns at European Commission (EC) regulators. According to a report from Reuters, which cites ‘two people familiar with the matter’, the EC’s competition watchdog is set to green-light the tie-up when it delivers its final decision later this week. The merger of Liberty Global’s Dutch cableco unit Ziggo and Vodafone Netherlands will create a converged service provider more capable of challenging the dominant local telco KPN.
While the EC has taken a tough stance on deals which consolidate specific markets – in May this year it blocked a proposed merger between UK cellcos O2 and 3 – it has been more lenient on tie-ups between operators in different market sectors, agreeing to a deal in February this year which saw Liberty Global’s Belgian cableco Telenet acquire KPN’s local mobile subsidiary BASE Company.