Mergers: Commission clears acquisition of Dutch cable TV operator Ziggo by Liberty Global, subject to conditions

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Following an in-depth investigation, the European Commission has approved under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed acquisition of Dutch cable TV operator Ziggo by Liberty Global. The approval is conditional upon the implementation of a commitments package. The Commission had concerns that the merger, as initially notified, would have hindered competition by removing two close competitors and important competitive forces in the Dutch market for the wholesale of premium Pay TV film channels, and by increasing Liberty Global’s buyer power vis-à-vis TV channel broadcasters, allowing it to hinder innovation in the delivery of audio visual content over the Internet (so-called over-the-top or “OTT” services). To address these concerns, Liberty Global offered to sell Film1, its premium Pay TV film channel. Liberty Global also committed to terminate clauses in channel carriage agreements that limit broadcasters’ ability to offer their channels and content over the Internet, and not to include such clauses in future channel carriage agreements for eight years. These commitments remove the Commission’s concerns. Here to read more.

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