Sunrise scored a win in its troubled move to acquire Liberty Global’s cable operator UPC Switzerland, after its domestic competition authority gave the deal a green light.
In a statement, the Swiss competition commission explained the tie-up “does not create or strengthen a dominant position” in any of the markets where the companies operate, even though it will make Sunrise the second-largest operator in Switzerland.
It added the companies “complement each other in many areas”, noting the acquisition would beef up Sunrise’s ability to compete with market leader Swisscom by offering “landline, broadband internet and mobile services” along with digital TV “on its own infrastructure”.
In a statement, Sunrise CEO Olaf Swantee said the clearance was “an important milestone” on the road towards creating a new, converged, operator.
The approval will be welcome relief for Sunrise, which is embroiled in a spat with its largest shareholder, Freenet, over the terms of the CHF6.3 billion ($6.3 billion) deal.
With regulatory hurdles cleared, Sunrise noted the next step will be a shareholder meeting scheduled for 23 October. It expects to close the transaction by end-November.