CASE COMMENTS: MERGERS - EUROPEAN UNION - PHASE II - HORIZONTAL EFFECTS - NON-COLLUSIVE OLIGOPOLY GAP - BUYER POWER

Commitments: The European Commission approves a telecoms merger with commitments to address unilateral horizontal effects without dominance (so-called “gap” case) (Vodafone / Liberty Global)

Background The good old cable network. Originally rolled out to transmit TV channels to households in the 80s, it has become the pipe through which millions of Europeans access fast internet or “broadband”. Little wonder that cable networks are eagerly coveted by telecom companies and, when they change hands, do so for considerable sums of money. The deal that gave rise to this case was no exception. Vodafone paid over 18 billion euros to acquire cable operator Liberty Global’s operations in Germany, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Romania. It was the largest telecoms deal in Europe in more than a decade. The parties and the deal Vodafone is a British telecoms group, active in several European countries. Originally a mobile operator, it is increasingly offering packages or bundles,

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Simon Vande Walle, Commitments: The European Commission approves a telecoms merger with commitments to address unilateral horizontal effects without dominance (so-called “gap” case) (Vodafone / Liberty Global), 18 July 2019, Concurrences N° 1-2020, Art. N° 93481, www.concurrences.com

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