European Commission clears Vodafone/Altice FTTH JV in Germany

The European Commission has given clearance to a €7bn fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) joint venture between Vodafone and Altice Germany. First announced in October, the JV, FibreCo, plans to provide around 7 million German homes with FTTH broadband over the next six years. Following the EC’s clearance, Vodafone has said that the first customers will benefit from the new network by the end of the year.

Handing down its decision, the EC said it had “concluded that the proposed concentration would not raise competition concerns given the limited horizontal overlaps and vertical links between the companies’ activities in the relevant markets. The transaction was reviewed under the simplified merger control procedure.”

At the time of the deal announcement, Vodafone said FibreCo would be owned 50% by Vodafone Germany and 50% by Altice. Around 80% of the proposed rollout will be focused around large housing associations in Vodafone’s existing hybrid fibre cable network footprint which are interested in FTTH upgrades; and the remaining 20% will be outside of Vodafone’s current footprint, focusing on neighbouring homes.

Vodafone’s broadband network in Germany currently offers up to 1Gbps connections to over 24 million homes. The company says its partnership with Altice is complementary to upgrade plans for its existing hybrid fibre cable network.

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