UK-based Vodafone Group is likely to receive a warning from EU regulators regarding the possible anti-competitive effects of its proposed acquisition of Liberty Global’s Eastern European assets. According to Reuters, which cites two unnamed sources familiar with the matter, the warning – via a statement of objections setting out the European Commission’s (EC’s) concerns – is expected to be sent to both Vodafone and Liberty shortly.
As previously reported by CommsUpdate, in December 2018 it was revealed that an in-depth investigation into the proposed acquisition of Liberty UPC/Unitymedia-branded operations in Germany, Hungary, Romania and the Czech Republic by Vodafone Group was opened by the European Commission (EC). At that date the EC said it had opted to examine the deal further after its initial market investigation had raised competition concerns, specifically in the Czech Republic and Germany.
With the latest report on the matter noting that both EC spokesman Ricardo Cardoso and Vodafone had declined to comment, it did, however, claim that Vodafone is expected to offer concessions to address any concerns the EU has about the acquisition.