BRUSSELS – The European Union’s antitrust body is opening an in-depth investigation of the proposed 10 billion-euro ($14 billion) deal by Liberty Global PLC to fully take over Dutch cable operator Ziggo NV.
The EU Commission said Thursday it is concerned the acquisition by Liberty — the cable company chaired by American tycoon John Malone — could reduce competition in the Dutch pay-TV and telecommunications market.
Liberty announced its plan to buy the 71.5 per cent of Ziggo it doesn’t already own in January. It plans to merge it with another major Dutch cable provider it owns, UPC, to create a dominant player that would cover some 90 per cent of Dutch households.
The 28-nation bloc’s antitrust body now has 90 days to approve, reject or demand changes to the acquisition bid.