Vodafone, Liberty Global seek EC nod for Dutch merger - Mobile World Live

Vodafone, Liberty Global seek EC nod for Dutch merger

14 JUL 2016

Vodafone and Liberty Global offered concessions to the European Commission (EC) for their proposed merger in the Netherlands, which would step up competition with incumbent KPN.

In a filing released today, the EC said the companies submitted their offer on 12 July, without providing any further details, apart from revealing that it has extended its deadline to rule on the deal to 3 August.

The deal in Netherlands proposes to create a converged 50:50 joint venture in the country, through Liberty Global’s fixed services, under the Ziggo brand, and Vodafone’s mobile offering. It is unclear what concessions the companies have offered.

The commission is, however, well known to take a hard line on M&A deals in the European market, and could now seek feedback from competitors and other parties before making its final decision.

In 2015, a merger between TeliaSonera and Telenor in Denmark collapsed after the EC looked set to block it, and in May it put a halt on CK Hutchison’s deal to acquire O2 in the UK.

Both deals would have removed a competitor from the market, but this will not be the case in the Netherlands, should it go ahead.

Liberty Global was also successful in securing EC approval for its takeover of mobile operator Base in Belgium in February, after agreeing to conditions tailored around ensuring “effective competition” in the market.

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Kavit Majithia

Kavit joined Mobile World Live in May 2015 as Content Editor. He started his journalism career at the Press Association before joining Euromoney’s graduate scheme in April 2010. Read More >>

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