Vodafone scraps Unitymedia brand; rivals challenge takeover

18 Feb 2020

Vodafone Germany has announced it is phasing out the Unitymedia brand, less than a year after acquiring the cable network operator from Liberty Global. Shops will be redesigned with the Vodafone branding, while product ranges will also be merged. ‘One network, one brand, one tariff – from today we are one. We have now forged a nationwide gigabit network from our united infrastructures,’ commented Vodafone Germany CEO Hannes Ametsreiter. In the federal states of Hesse, Baden-Wurttemberg and North Rhine-Westphalia, a further 5.5 million homes are now able to access gigabit cable speeds, increasing the total to 17 million households across the country and corresponding to 40% of homes. By 2022, Vodafone is aiming to supply over 25 million households with connection speeds of up to 1Gbps.

In a related development, Deutsche Telekom, Tele Columbus and NetCologne are challenging the approval of Vodafone’s acquisition of Unitymedia, which received the go-ahead from the EU in July 2019. Medienkorrespondenz reports that the trio have filed legal action against the European Commission’s decision to unconditionally approve the deal, claiming it will have a negative impact on competition in the telecoms and TV markets.