The European Commission today approved the merger of the two largest cable television networks in the Netherlands.
Liberty Global had bid €10 billion for its rival Ziggo, and the move needed the approval of the Commission’s competition authorities.
The Commission’s approval is conditional on Liberty Global selling Film1, a paid-for film channel, and relaxing contract conditions that limit broadcasters’ ability to offer their channels and content over the internet. The Commission spent seven months investigating the deal.
“The commitments offered by Liberty Global ensure that the acquisition of Ziggo will not be detrimental to Dutch consumers, who will continue to enjoy the benefits of innovative services and choice for watching audiovisual content,” said Joaquín Almunia, the European commissioner for competition.
Ziggo and Liberty Global’s cable TV networks serve 60%-70% of all Dutch pay-TV subscribers.
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