Start Europe Vodafone wants to buy the German cable operator Unitymedia

Vodafone wants to buy the German cable operator Unitymedia


The European Commission has initiated an in-depth investigation into the planned takeover of cable provider Unitymedia by the British telecommunications company Vodafone . The merger can eliminate competition between merging companies and have negative consequences, she said.

Vodafone had announced in the spring that it wants to take over the cable networks of Liberty Global – in Germany under the name Unitymedia active – in Hungary, the Czech Republic and Romania for a total of about 18.4 billion euros . Unitymedia is Germany’s second largest cable operator. Competitors such as Deutsche Telekom and Telefónica are protesting that the market power of Vodafone is becoming too large due to the acquisition.

According to European competition watchdogs, Vodafone and Unitymedia are currently competing in Germany for landline connections, among other things. The project could therefore have a negative impact on investments in the next network generation.

The Federal Cartel Office had applied in November to investigate the takeover itself, insofar as it concerns Germany. Under European law, a case may be referred in whole or in part to individual EU countries. However, the Bundeskartellamt does not consider this likely: „Based on the initiation of the second phase, we assume that the Commission will not refer the control procedure to Germany,“ said the president of the agency, Andreas Mundt.

According to Mundt, the takeover of Unitymedia in Germany could lead to significant changes in the market conditions for cable television and telecommunications .