Poland’s Office of Competition and Consumer Protection (Urzad Ochrony Konkurencji i Konsumentow, UOKiK) has expressed reservations over the proposed merger of cablecos Vectra and Multimedia Polska. The watchdog says Vectra’s acquisition of Multimedia could hamper competition in the pay-TV market in 21 cities and the fixed broadband market in 29 cities. Vectra has two weeks to respond to the regulator’s concerns. Vectra is the second largest cable operator in Poland, with Multimedia in third place.
Vectra first announced plans to buy Multimedia in August 2018, and the following month UOKiK raised its concerns over the effects on competition. In November it was reported that the deal could be abandoned, with the two cablecos unable to agree on terms, but Vectra said at the end of that month that negotiations would continue. UOKiK’s stance could now see the merger called off unless the parties can come up with a plan to spin off some assets to allay the regulator’s fears.