Liberty Global will be given permission to take over its Dutch competitor Ziggo by the European Commission and merge it with UPC, according to Bloomberg.
However, the approval will be conditional on Liberty Global selling its Film 1 premium channel business to head off competition concerns, two sources have told Bloomberg. In addition, the merged cable operator must promise to maintain access for so-called OTT providers such as Netflix Inc. and a pledge not to discriminate against rivals that buy its content.
“We continue our constructive discussions with the European Commission and remain confident that we will complete the transaction before year-end,” Liberty Global spokesman Bert Holtkamp told Bloomberg by email, declining to comment further.
The European Commission will decide on November 3 if the Liberty Global-Ziggo deal will receive its approval.
At an Extraordinary General Meeting on Tuesday Ziggo shareholders approved a number of resolutions concerning the deal. These include the transfer of all of Ziggo’s assets and liabilities to an affiliate of Liberty Global; and the subsequent liquidation of Ziggo as a standalone company.
In a related development, Ziggo’s current CEO Rene Obermann is said to join Warburg Pincus after he leaves Ziggo following the acquisition by Liberty Global.
Obermann only assumed the top position in January. When US media company Liberty Global announced it would buy Ziggo, Obermann said that he would leave the cable operator once the acquisition has taken place.