Liberty Global has received regulatory clearance from the European Union for its €3.5 billion purchase of Unitymedia.
“The Commission concluded that the concentration would not significantly impede effective competition in the European economic area,” read a European Commission statement.
The 4.5 million-subscriber network is the second largest cable operation in Germany after Kabel Deutschland. It controls the regional networks that were formerly owned by Deutsche Telekom in the states of Hesse and Northrhine-Westphalia, serving 10 of the 20 largest cities in Germany, including Cologne, Dusseldorf, and Frankfurt.
Announced in November, Liberty’s purchase of Unitymedia comes nine years after German regulators barred a proposed purchase of former Deutsche Telekom assets. Despite denials by the company, this week’s sale of its interest in the Japanese J:COM must surely put the John Malone-controlled company in the frame for an attempt to acquire Kabel Deutschland.