Europe rejects Dutch regulation request over Liberty-Ziggo deal

Ziggo DomeThe European Commission has rejected a request by the Dutch competition authority (ACM) to review Liberty Global’s planned takeover of local cable operator Ziggo. 

In a statement, the Commission said that it had decided not to refer the acquisition to the ACM for assessment under Dutch competition law, believing its own experience in “assessing many mergers in the converging media and telecommunications sectors” leaves it better placed to make a decision.

Because of Liberty Global’s presence in 12 countries of the European Economic Area and the need for “a consistent application of the merger control rules,” the Commission said that the Dutch authority was “not better placed to examine the transaction.”

The EC also said that the transaction “might have effects outside the territory of the Netherlands, such as the linguistically homogeneous Flemish part of Belgium.”

The Commission said it will now continue its in-depth investigation into the planned Liberty-Ziggo deal, and will continue to cooperate closely with the Dutch ACM. It has set until October 17 to continue its investigation and make a final decision.