Vodafone Group formally completed the acquisition of Liberty Global’s operations in Germany, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Romania for a total cost of €18.4 billion.

The deal, which faced significant opposition from German market rival Deutsche Telekom, passed through the European Commission (EC) last month.

EC approval came after Vodafone addressed the commission’s list of competition concerns, including signing a wholesale access agreement with Telefonica Deutschland.

Confirming the closure of the transaction, Vodafone said it was now Europe’s leading converged operator with 54 million cable and fibre households and a “next generation network” reach of 124 million homes and businesses.

It added when the assets from Liberty Global were included almost half of its consumer revenue on the continent would come from fixed and converged services. The figure is based on replicating statistics from both companies as of the end of Q2.

Vodafone Group CEO Nick Read (pictured) said with the acquisition: “Not only have we reshaped our business, becoming the owner of the largest gigabit-capable next generation network infrastructure in the region, we are now able to play our part in realising the digital society for millions of customers.”

The deal is the second major M&A activity completed by the operator group in the last two days with the sale of its New Zealand unit finalised yesterday.