Vodafone gets the green light for $22bn Liberty Global acquisition
Vodafone has secured approval from EU regulators for its $22bn (£17.6bn) takeover of Liberty Global assets.
The European Commission today said it has approved the merger on the condition that Vodafone complies with a string of commitments.
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The deal will see Vodafone take control of Liberty’s cable networks in Germany, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Romania, as it looks to take on rival Deutsche Telekom.
Chief executive Nick Read said: “With the European Commission’s approval of this transaction, Vodafone transforms into Europe’s largest fully-converged communications operator, accelerating innovation through our gigabit networks and bringing greater benefits to millions of customers.”
As part of its concessions, Vodafone offered to strengthen rival Telefonica Deutschland by giving it access to its merged high-speed broadband network in Germany.
The firm also pledged not to restrict broadcasters from distributing their shows via an over-the-top service, and not to increase the fees paid by broadcasters.
Regulators had been concerned that the merger would reduce competition in the German broadband market. However, it said the remedies offered by Vodafone addressed these concerns.
“In our modern society access to affordable and good quality broadband and TV services is almost as asked for as running water,” said EU competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager.
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She added that the concessions will ensure customers continue “enjoying fair prices, high-quality services and innovative products”.
Vodafone said the move will generate cost savings of more than €6bn (£5.2bn) after the cost of integration.
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