EU competition watchdog to probe Telenet and Fluvius fibre plan

The agreement between Liberty Global-backed Belgian service provider Telenet and fibre network outfit Fluvius to collaborate to build out a fibre network in Flanders and parts of Brussels is to be notified to the EU competition watchdog.

The JV is to be referred to the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Competition under the EU merger control rules as it falls within the scope of EU Merger Regulation and so requires prior approval, Telenet said.

In July Telenet and Fluvius announced an agreement to jointly build a fibre net, establishing a new infrastructure company dubbed NetCo.

Due to the EC notification, the pair now expect that the actual launch of NetCo will not take place early next year as earlier communicated but rather by the summer of 2023, as soon as the Commission’s clearance is granted. ​ ​

Telenet and Fluvius said they will give their full and constructive cooperation in the context of this notification.

The agreement between the pair would ultimately see Telenet evolve its HFC cable network infrastructure in a combined footprint to fibre-to-the-home technology.

Fluvius operates electricity and gas utilities across Flanders and also provides TV and broadband services in around 100 municipalities. The company is owned by a group of Flemish intermunicipal partnerships.

The pair said their ambition is to provide speeds of 10Gbps across the entire footprint in time, with a clear roadmap to achieve this.

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