EU clears Vodafone’s $22-billion Liberty deal

BRUSSELS/LONDON (Reuters) – Brussels, belgium, gave his blessing to Vodafone’s (VOD.(L) $22 billion acquisition of Liberty Global’s (LBTYA.D) cable networks in Germany and central Europe, and to pave the way for a British company, has grown to become one of Europe’s largest cellular, broadband, and TELEVISION service provider.

FILE PHOTO: co-Axial TV Cables, are to be seen in the front view of the Vodafone and Liberty Global’s logo, in this picture, May 9, 2018. REUTERS/dado Ruvic/Image/File Photo

The deal is the eye-catching set of companies, in an effort to be a provider of high-speed broadband and pay-TV, rather than a purely mobile service provider. The strategy, which was launched by the former CEO, Vittorio Colao, has been designed to increase the client’s expenses and to deepen the user’s loyalty.

John Malone’s Liberty Global, the cable’s output, bringing rich returns for the assets are worth more to the acquirer, which can be bundled with other services, rather than as a stand-alone business.

Shares in the uk’s Vodafone, the world’s No. 2 mobile operator, rose 1 percent after the European Commission gave the green light for the two groups to combine the networks and take on the market leader, Deutsche Telekom (DTEGn.DE).

Commissioner, Margrethe Vestager, said the approval is subject to the remedies designed to make sure that customers will be able to continue to benefit from the fair prices, high-quality services and innovative products.

“In today’s society, access to affordable and good quality broadband internet and TV services, it is almost the same, as soon as the running water,” she said.

In order to deal with by the regulator, Vodafone had agreed to give up a smaller rival, Telefonica Deutschland (germany) 02Dn.DE access to high-speed broadband network.

Deutsche Telekom said that the concessions do not go far enough to ensure that the limit of the range of the media, and the programming they offer consumers, and said that it was considering an appeal.

Nick Read, Vodafone’s chief executive, described the deal as transformational for each of the four markets of Germany, denmark, Hungary, the Czech republic, and Romania, and it provides a high-speed, for the consumer, and with the renewed competition between the operators.

“Vodafone is changing into one of Europe’s largest fully converged communications operator, and the speed of innovation in the use of our gigabit networking, and will bring even more benefits to the millions and millions of customers,” he said.

Liberty said that the combined entity could prove to be a powerful fixed-mobile players from the national telecom incumbents.

Vodafone and Unitymedia, Liberty of the German companies that are active in different parts of the country, and it does not have to compete head-to-head.

However, a merger would be a very, very strong position in the us cable and high-speed broadband, in particular, to a multi-family apartment blocks and major competitors in order to ask the regulators to step in and make sure that they are also the “last-mile” access to homes.

The networks will be covering 23.7 million households, and will help to Telefonica Deutschland for its distant-third position in the fixed broadband, behind-the Deutsche and Vodafone.

Reuters reported on 26 June that the deal was set to go.

Reporting by Robin Emmott in Brussels and Kate Holton in London; editing by Alissa de Carbonnel and Georgina Prodhan

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