Liberty Global has once again filed a request to the EC for approval of its 2014 merger of the Netherlands’ then-largest two cablecos, Zesko (Ziggo) and UPC. The EC has set a 15 May deadline for its decision, Reuters reports.
As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, in October 2017 Dutch former monopoly telco KPN won an appeal against the EC decision of October 2014 which cleared the merger of Ziggo and UPC (subsequently merged into joint venture VodafoneZiggo, 50%-owned by Vodafone Group, in December 2016). The EU General Court annulled the EC’s 2014 ruling, agreeing with KPN’s challenge on the basis that regulators had not considered the potential anti-competitive impact on the pay-TV sports market in the Netherlands. A statement from Liberty Global in October 2017 presented an unworried stance, however, saying: ‘We note the EU General Court’s decision, which has no impact on the day-to-day operations of VodafoneZiggo. The Court’s ruling does not question the substance of the Commission’s decision to approve the UPC and Ziggo merger, but rather annuls it on procedural grounds … we are confident of obtaining clearance in due course.’