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Vodafone Gets EU Go-Ahead to Purchase UPC Hungary

The merger will result in a strong competitor in the cable and mobile segments

D&T
July 18, 2019

European Commission Clears Vodafone's Bid to Buy Liberty Global Units

The European Commission granted approval for Vodafone to acquire Liberty Global's cable business in Czechia, Germany, Hungary and Romania in exchange for full compliance with commitments previously undertaken by Vodafone. As a result, the U.K.-based telecommunications giant will become the new owner of UPC Hungary.

“In our modern society, access to affordable and good quality broadband and TV services is almost as asked for as running water,” Margrethe Vestager, EU Commissioner in charge of competition policy, said in a statement. Brussels seeks to ensure that customers will continue to enjoy fair prices, high-quality services and innovative products, Vestager said. The decision follows an in-depth investigation of the proposed transaction, according to the EU’s statement.

Vodafone Hungary Chairwoman and CEO Amanda Nelson welcomed the news and said that the two companies will continue to operate as separate service providers until the acquisition is closed, according to a statement sent to Hungarian state news agency MTI. Customers will continue to be served through the usual service channels until the integration of the two companies, which may take up to a year, is finalized.

Robert Redeleanu, CEO of UPC Hungary and Poland and CEO of Liberty Global’s Eastern Europe Region hailed the transaction as “a giant leap forward in the 25-year history of UPC Hungary. Customers and the entire Hungarian economy will benefit from the creation of a new, integrated, and fully converged company. After closing the deal in the upcoming weeks, UPC and Vodafone together will be stronger, more agile and better equipped for investments to serve our customers’ needs.”

He added that the new company will be in a great position to drive the 5G roll out in Hungary, contributing to the government’s objective of placing Hungary at the forefront of digitization.

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