The European Commission approved the acquisition by Vodafone of the Central European cable networks of Liberty Global for € 18.4 billion.
In one of his last acts as CEO, the former head of Vodafone, Vittorio Colao, reached an agreement to buy the networks in the Czech Republic. Germany, Hungary and Romania in May of last year.
The move is designed to accelerate Vodafone's converged network and turn it into the largest provider of "Next Generation Network" (NGN) in Europe. The company's fiber footprint will increase to 110 million across the continent, including 54 million in its own infrastructure.
Vodafone Liberty Global
Vodafone has invested significantly in fixed infrastructure, building or acquiring networks in Spain, Italy, Germany and Portugal. , although it has wholesale agreements in other markets, including the United Kingdom.
The approval of the EU was one of the final obstacles to the transaction. The EC discovered that there were no major concerns that prices would rise or the quality of services would decrease and said that it would grant its blessing as long as certain resources, such as wholesale access, came into effect.
"In our modern society access affordable and good quality broadband and television services are almost as much sought after as running water," said European Commissioner Margrethe Vestager.
"Today we have approved the purchase of Vodafone from Liberty Global's business in the Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary and Romania, subject to solutions designed to ensure that customers will continue to enjoy fair prices, high quality services and innovative products. "
Despite opposition from Deutsche Telekom, Vodafone said it was not concerned that the competition would be adversely affected because the German cable assets of Vodafone and Liberty Global did not.
"With the approval of this transaction by the European Commission, Vodafone becomes the largest market in Europe." Converged communications operator, accelerating innovation through our gigabit networks and providing greater benefits to millions of customers in Germany, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Romania, "added Vodafone Group CEO Nick Read." This is a significant step to enable truly digital partnerships for our customers. "