May 7, 2019

Vodafone agrees deal to gain EU support for Liberty acquisition

Vodafone has agreed to sell access to its cable broadband network to Telefónica Deutschland in a bid to address European antitrust enforcers' concerns and obtain EU approval for its €18bn deal with Liberty Global. If approved, the Liberty deal would be the most significant consolidation in the European telecoms industry in more than a decade with the UK company buying its US rival's cable networks in Germany and eastern Europe. The European Commission narrowed its objections in April when Vodafone said it remained confident that it would gain approval for the deal by the middle of the year. "Telefónica DE will be able to market broadband services over the combined Vodafone and Unitymedia cable network in Germany, which covers 23.7m households," said Vodafone in a press release. Telefónica also announced last month that it would offer broadcast TV services in combination with WAIPA TV, which Vodafone hopes will mitigate the EU enforcers' concerns over bargaining power by creating another TV service in Germany that the broadcasters can deal with as an alternative to the newly combined Vodafone group.

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