Vodafone passes up chance to defend Liberty deal at EU hearing
11 Apr 2019 12:33 pm by Nicholas Hirst
Vodafone has passed up an opportunity to defend its four-country Liberty Global acquisition at a closed-door hearing in Brussels, MLex has learned.
The European Commission served Vodafone with an official charge sheet against the deal last month, raising concerns about how the merger would affect competition in two German markets — broadband and broadcasting.
Dealmakers seeking EU competition approval have a right, but not an obligation, to present a defense during a private hearing before senior EU officials and deal opponents at the commission.
Resistance to the deal in Germany has been fierce, and a hearing would have seen Vodafone and Liberty Global defending their deal against a slew of companies in the country’s telecom and broadcasting industries.
Rivals, suppliers and customers have been studying a non-confidential version of the charges and have marshaled their arguments against Vodafone’s purchase of Liberty Global’s cable businesses in Germany, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Romania for 18.4 billion euros ($20.7 billion).
Companies often forgo a hearing when their focus is not on persuading the commission to drop its charges, but instead on hammering out a package of concessions that would address the EU regulator's concerns.
M&A, US HSR filings expected to remain hot through first half of 2021; bankruptcies, volatility a concern29 Dec 2020 12:00 am by Curtis EichelbergerMergers and US antitrust filings are expected to remain strong through the first half of 2021, fueled by acquisitions in the wake of the global pandemic.
19 Oct 2020 10:29 pm by Kirk VictorA recommendation in the House Judiciary Committee’s 452-page report on competition in digital markets is sparking debate.
08 Oct 2020 1:26 pm by Victoria IbitoyeVisa's UK clearance to buy Plaid showed the Competition and Markets Authority to be unafraid of evaluating and dismissing "killer acquisition" concerns.