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Vodafone Germany chief highlights logic of single cable player

Jens Schulte-Bockum

Jens Schulte-Bockum

Vodafone Germany CEO Jens Schulte-Bockum has signalled his desire to see a single consolidated rival to Deutsche Telekom in the German market and reiterated that he does not perceive regulatory objections to be insurmountable.

In an interview with Handelsblatt, Schulte-Bockum said that large-scale mergers in the telecoms sector would ultimately be decided at the European level.

While saying that Vodafone, which owns Germany’s largest cable operator Kabel Deutschland, had no plans in train to acquire the second-ranked operator, Liberty Global-owned Unitymedia KabelBW, he reiterated his belief that a single alternative national fixed-line operator would benefit the German market.

Earlier this month, Schulte-Bockum told the Rheinische Post that it would benefit the German broadband market to have a single cable player, including Unitymedia KabelBW, facing a single telecom player.

Deutsche Telekom chief executive Timotheus Hoettges last week revealed that the telco planned to spend €23.5 billion on its fixed and mobile networks in Germany over the next five years, matching its investment for the 2010-15 period. Vodafone CEO Vittorio Colão has, by contrast, indicated he would like to scale down network investment when the operator’s current Project Spring programme is completed.