The EU General Court orders fresh review of a merger (Liberty Global/Ziggo)

The EU lower court has overturned a 2014 merger clearance by the European Commission (EC) following an appeal by a third party. Overturning the clearance does not mean that the deal is now prohibited. Instead, the case goes back to the EC, and the parties have to re-notify. At best this is time-consuming for them; at worst the EC review could lead to adverse findings. Hypothetically, at least, the EC could prohibit the deal, or impose further conditions on it. The EU General Court annulled [1] the approval of the Liberty Global/Ziggotransaction for the EC’s failure to explain adequately the view taken by it that premium pay-TV sports channels should be excluded from its analysis. KPN, a third party, had raised concerns which the EC failed to address. The annulment is one of only four

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Alec J. Burnside, Maria Loudjeva, The EU General Court orders fresh review of a merger (Liberty Global/Ziggo), 26 October 2017, e-Competitions Bulletin October 2017, Art. N° 85302

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