US cable company Liberty Global offered concessions to the European Commission in a bid to get approval for its proposed €1.33 billion acquisition of Dutch operator KPN’s Belgian mobile unit, Base.
The move comes just a few days after Telenor and TeliaSonera dropped their merger plans in Denmark, having been unable to accommodate the European Commission’s demand for a fourth operator, a warning sign for future M&A activity.
The EU competition authority’s website shows a proposal has been filed by Liberty but does not give any details except that it has a deadline of 5 October, instead of the previous 21 September, for deciding if it wants to approve the deal, or open it up to further investigation.
In April, KPN struck a definitive agreement with Telenet Global Holding, a subsidiary of Liberty Global, to sell Base.
By acquiring Base, which, according to GSMA Intelligence, had 3.2 million connections in Q2 2015, Telenet is better placed to mount a challenge to market leaders Proximus (Belgacom) and Mobistar, which had 5.1 million and 5 million connections respectively by the end of last year, on quadplay services.