Liberty Global’s bid for Dutch operator Ziggo is likely to face lengthy scrutiny by European Union antitrust regulators because of the complex issues involved, reports Reuters.
In an exclusive report, Reuters quotes two people familiar with the matter. “The European Commission is expected to open a phase two investigation,” said one of the people who declined to be named because the EU competition authority’s decision is not yet public.
The Commission is conducting a preliminary review of the case until May 8. After that, it will announce the deeper investigation. A phase two probe can take up to 105 working days.
Last January, Liberty Global and Ziggo announced that LG was offering €34.53 per share to acquire Ziggo. Once completed, the combined footprint of Ziggo and UPC Netherlands will reach seven million, or over 90% of Dutch homes, and create a (almost) nationwide challenger in the mobile and enterprise businesses to compete with incumbent KPN.
The plan is to merge the operations of UPC Nederland and Ziggo into a single company, which will operate under the Ziggo brand and will be headquartered at the current Ziggo HQ in Utrecht.