The German Federal Cartel office clears a merger in the broad-band cable industry despite monopolized markets due to existing competitive tender proceedings (CIE/Ish)

The German Federal Cartel Office ("FCO") cleared in a decision of 21 June 2005 the acquisition of direct control by CIE Management II Limited ("CIE") over the broadband cable network ultimately and exclusively held by NRW HoldCo GmbH ("Ish"). The case was referred by the European Commission to the FCO following a request of the parties to the merger proceedings. In its decision, the FCO stated that countervailing market power may exceptionally mitigate the structural problems of a natural monopoly. In addition, it held that it will consider the undertakings competitive freedom of action for the merger control assessment notwithstanding any restrictions imposed by regulatory law. Ish held the exclusive ownership of the broadband cable network on the regional market of North

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