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Vodafone offers Telefonica wholesale access to its cable network in Germany

The move aims to facilitate the European Commission’s approval of the acquisition of Liberty Global’s assets.

Background: In May 2018, Vodafone announced the acquisition of Liberty Global’s cable networks in Germany, Czech Republic, Hungary, and Romania, as part of a €18.4bn deal. The deal is still pending approval by the EC.

Today’s announcement: Vodafone has today announced a deal to grant Telefonica access to Vodafone and Unitymedia’s cable network. This will allow Telefonica to offer broadband at up to 300Mbps speeds on a network that covers 23.7m households. The deal is conditional on Vodafone’s acquisition of Liberty Global’s assets in the above mentioned countries. The agreement has been signed on a long-term basis, with Telefonica committed to achieving a minimum level of customers over the term of the contract. Vodafone also committed to another remedy (the “OTT Commitment”) to ensure that sufficient capacity is available for OTT TV distribution.   

Next steps: The EC should now undertake market testing of the remedy package, which is expected to conclude during May 2019. A final decision on the acquisition is expected by July 2019.