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Polish regulator takes Multimedia Polska-Vectra probe to second stage

Polish competition watchdog UOKiK has reservations about the acquisition of cable operator Multimedia Polska by rival player Vectra on the grounds that the combination of the pair could adversely affect competition in the market.

In a note on the merger, UOKiK said that the pair’s activities coincided in 39 cities across the country in the pay TV market and in 45 cities in the fixed broadband market.

UOKiK said that submissions from companies in Poland had indicated that the deal could lead to restrictions in competition in a number of cities and that it had therefore concluded that a second-phase investigation is necessary, possibly leading to remedies being sought of the combination being prohibited.

The plan to merge the two companies was submitted to UOKiK at the end of August. Regulatory challenges had previously been responsible for Liberty Global abandoning its plan to combine its local operation UPC Poland, with Multimedia Polska to secure the scale necessary to take on larger rivals in the Polish market.