UK government backs Liberty Global-Virgin deal

UK culture minister Ed Vaizey has thrown his support behind Liberty Global’s planned takeover of Virgin Media, claiming it is this kind of investment that “keeps the UK’s online economy moving forward.”

Speaking at Cable Congress in London, the Secretary of State for Culture, Communications and Creative Industries said the government welcomed the planned takeover, subject to shareholder approval, as it represents a “great opportunity for the UK broadband market and also the rest of Europe – because firms like Virgin Media, and BT lead the way it comes to investing in broadband.”

“Of course as a politician, I’m absolutely delighted that this will bring a major new company headquarters to the UK. But also I welcome the prospects this will bring to continued investment Virgin Media’s cable network,” he added.
In broader terms, Vaizey said that the cornerstone of the UK’s growth ambitions are to become “truly connected” and open for business, and said that the digital, creative and communication industries have a key role to play in this growth.

“We want to see continued investment in Britain’s online industries, and we also want to ensure that the whole British economy benefits from the new digital services and connectivity – the kind of services people need to innovate and to expand into new markets,” he said.

While claiming that the UK broadband industry is already in “rude health” he added that “it’s important that we’re not left in the slow lane when it comes to broadband access – our public investment programme means we’ll bring superfast broadband to 90% of the UK and a minimum of 2Mb for everybody else.”

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