BONN, Germany, June 30 (Reuters) - Germany’s cartel office would scrutinise any proposed asset swap between Vodafone and Liberty Global in Europe’s biggest economy, it said on Tuesday.
Vodafone and Liberty have begun talks on swapping selected assets. No further details have been revealed by the companies, but Germany is one of the top markets where the two overlap.
“We would look at it closely,” cartel office President Andreas Mundt told journalists when asked about a possible combination of cable and mobile assets in Germany.
Such a deal could attract the attention of EU competition authorities, but Mundt said that the German cartel office may seek to conduct its own investigation.
Asked whether the cartel office would be likely to approve such a deal, he said that every case is different, noting that numerous takeover deals are “in the air” in the cable sector.
Two years ago the cartel office blocked a plan by Kabel Deutschland to acquire smaller rival Tele Columbus. Kabel Deutschland was subsequently bought by Vodafone. (Reporting by Matthias Inverardi; Writing by Georgina Prodhan; Editing by David Goodman)