The European Commission is said to have strong concerns against the €18.4 billion cable deal between Liberty Global and Vodafone.
Vodafone will receive a warning from EU regulators about possible anti-competitive effects, reports Reuters with reference to two people familiar with the matter.
The warning, via a statement of objections setting out the European Commission’s concerns, is expected to be conveyed to the companies shortly, the sources said, ahead of a June 3, 2019 deadline for the EU executive’s regulatory approval.
Vodafone is likely to offer concessions addressing the competition authority’s concerns about the deal.
In December 2018, the European Commission decided to open a full-scale, in-depth investigation into Vodafone’s proposed acquisition of Liberty Global’s cable assets in Germany, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Romania. The EU authority is concerned that the takeover could reduce competition in Germany and the Czech Republic.
The takeover plans encountered strong opposition in the German telecommunications industry. Deutsche Telekom and Tele Columbus called for the deal to be blocked because of its negative impact on competition. Telefónica Deutschland and cable operator association FRK demanded strong conditions to be imposed.