EU clears $22.6bn cable operator, pay TV takeover

Associated Press

BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union's antitrust body has cleared the 17.2 billion euros ($22.6 billion) takeover of Britain's Virgin Media by U.S. cable TV operator Liberty Global.

The European Commission, which acts as the 27-nation bloc's competition watchdog, said Monday the acquisition will make Liberty Global Inc. the largest cable operator in Europe and form the second-largest pay TV provider in Britain.

It concluded the deal does not raise competition concerns because the parties operate cable networks in different EU states and because of the merged entity's limited overall market position in the wholesale of TV programs and channels.

U.S.-registered entertainment company Virgin Media Inc. operates a cable network in Britain but also provides pay TV, broadband internet and phone services. Liberty Global already operates cable networks in 10 European Union states.

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