EC approves Liberty Global sale of Central European assets to Vodafone | Major Businesses | Business
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Just over a year after the deal was first announced, the European Commission has granted its final approval of the sale of Liberty Global’s operations in Germany, Hungary, Romania and the Czech Republic to comms giant Vodafone Group.
Vodafone Germany 19July2019
The EC opened an in-depth investigation to assess Vodafone's proposed acquisition in December 2018 under the EU Merger Regulation. The Commission had concern that, in Germany in particular, the transaction proposed by the companies could eliminate competition between the merging companies, reduce the number of players and limit the merged entity's incentives to compete effectively with the remaining operators.

The EC says that all regulatory conditions for the deal, valued at approximately €19.0 billion, have now been met and are in alignment with the original terms. Yet approval is conditional on full compliance with a commitments package offered by Vodafone. The transaction is now expected to close on 31 July 2019.

Added “In our modern society access to affordable and good quality broadband and TV services is almost as asked for as running water, remarked EC commissioner Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy. “We have...approved Vodafone's purchase of Liberty Global's business in Czechia, Germany, Hungary and Romania subject to remedies designed to ensure that customers will continue enjoying fair prices, high-quality services and innovative products.”

“We’re pleased that the European Commission has recognised the considerable benefits that this important transaction brings to millions of consumers across Germany, Hungary, Romania and the Czech Republic,” added Liberty Global CEO Mike Fries. “And it is good news for our employees in each market who will become part of a fixed-mobile national challenger with the strength and scale to take on national telco incumbents.”