The federal German anti-trust authority Bundeskartellamt has given the green light to internet service provider United Internet to acquire further shares in cable operator Tele Columbus, a cartel office spokesman confirmed to Broadband TV News.
“The transaction has been approved as there are only little overlaps between the two companies in all affected parts of the market, therefore no major limitation of effective competition is to be expected,” he explained.
The parent company of internet brands like 1&1, GMX and web.de now holds a total of 25.11%, turning it into the cable operator’s largest shareholder.
United Internet has, however, not received clearance of a possible full takeover of Tele Columbus. “This decision has no legal binding effect on the question whether a possible further increase of the shareholding would be permitted under anti-trust law,” stressed the cartel office spokesman.
Through the move announced in February 2016, United Internet which has so far mainly been selling ADSL internet contracts secures a foothold in the cable market.
The anti-trust approval has been expected by Dietmar Schickel, former long-time managing director of cable operator Tele Columbus as it would strengthen competition with Vodafone and Unitymedia in the broadband market.
Tele Columbus is Germany’s third largest cable company a total 3.6 million households.