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Virgin Media deal to close Friday, LG would like to be “bigger in Germany”

Liberty Global CEO Mike Fries

Liberty Global CEO Mike Fries

With Liberty Global’s deal to acquire Virgin Media expected to close on Friday following Liberty shareholder agreement to the purchase, Liberty president and CEO Mike Fries said the company “had plenty of money left for Germany”.

Speaking on the opening panel at ANGA COM, Fries said “Germany is our fastest growing market”. Eighty per cent of the cable giant’s revenue comes from five countries, meaning Liberty was now “pretty concentrated in western Europe…and Germany is the engine for that growth”, he said. He added that Liberty would like to be “bigger in Germany, one day”.

Fries said he didn’t wish to enter into discussion about the logic of regulatory resistance to cable consolidation, but that consolidation made industrial logic.

“It’s always interesting. The cable industry is the only one on this stage without a national platform. It doesn’t make a lot of sense to me that the cable industry has been forced into this fragmentation. It doesn’t make sense for consmers or investment in infrastructure. It only makes sense for our competitors,” he said. “Consumers would win if the industry was more consolidated.”

Companies with national scale would provide more vibrant competition with telcos and other providers. Relative to Deutsche Telekom, the entire German cable industry was “very small”, he said.

However, Liberty’s existing business in Germany was growing and doing well, he added.