May 30, 2018 / 1:45 PM / a year ago

EU conditionally clears Liberty Global's purchase of Dutch cable operator Ziggo

Mike Fries, President and Chief Executive Officer of Liberty Global, delivers his keynote speech at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, February 28, 2017. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Commission on Wednesday said it had cleared the purchase of Dutch cable operator Ziggo by Liberty Global (LBTYA.O) subject to conditions.

The merger was first approved in 2014 but then annulled by the General Court of the European Union, leading to a reassessment of the deal.

The Commission, which acts as the competition watchdog in the European Union, said Liberty Global had offered to scrap clauses that restrict broadcasters’ ability to offer their channels and content over the internet, maintain access to its network and not repurchase pay TV operator Film1.

“The Commission concluded that the proposed transaction, as modified by the commitments, would no longer raise competition concerns,” the Commission said.

The Court case was triggered by a complaint by Dutch telecoms group KPN (KPN.AS) about the combined market power of Liberty Global’s Dutch unit UPC and Ziggo.

Reporting by Robert-Jan Bartunek, editing by Robin Emmott

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