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By Adria Calatayud
The European Union's antitrust authority said Thursday that it has cleared Vodafone Group PLC's (VOD.LN) acquisition of Liberty Global PLC's (LBTYA) assets in Germany, Hungary, Romania and the Czech Republic, with conditions.
The European Commission said remedies offered by Vodafone, including a wholesale agreement with Telefonica Deutschland AG (O2D.XE), addressed its competition concerns.
In addition to the pact with Telefonica Deutschland--which gives Telefonica access to the merged entity's cable network in Germany--Vodafone committed to refrain from contractually restricting the possibility for broadcasters that are carried on the merged entity's TV platform to also distribute their content via an over-the-top service, the European Commission said.
Vodafone also proposed not increasing the feed-in fees paid by free-to-air broadcasters for the transmission of their linear TV channels via Vodafone's cable network in Germany and to continue to carry the signal of free-to-air broadcasters, the commission said.
EU regulators in December said they had opened an in-depth investigation into the deal, as the European Commission was concerned the acquisition may reduce competition in Germany and the Czech Republic.
Vodafone agreed to buy Liberty Global's operations in Germany, Hungary, Romania and the Czech Republic in May last year in a deal valued at 19 billion euros ($22.5 billion at the time).
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(END) Dow Jones Newswires
July 18, 2019 05:20 ET (09:20 GMT)
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