France OKs Numericable’s Virgin Takeover

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Numericable’s commitment to opening up its cable network will suffice to safeguard competition, regulatory body rules.
French competition authorities on Thursday gave the go-ahead to Numericable’s planned acquisition of Virgin Mobile France, noting that any competitive threats would be mitigated by the conditions it imposed on the Numericable/SFR tie-up a month ago.

Numericable inked a deal to buy virtual mobile operator Virgin in June.

The deal could be construed as a threat to competition in the market for bundled services if Virgin Mobile customers were given preferential access to Numericable’s multi-play TV and broadband services, the Autorité de la concurrence said.

However, since Numericable has agreed to open up its cable infrastructure to rival operators, including mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs), as part of its takeover of SFR, that risk has already been addressed, the authority ruled.

Numericable’s parent company Altice agreed to pay €13.5 billion for mobile network operator SFR in April and got the green light from the competition authority in late October, subject to certain conditions. The most significant is the requirement for Numericable to open up its cable infrastructure to rival players to prevent it from taking a dominant position in the consumer high-speed broadband market.

Original post at Total Telecom

Wahengbam Rorrkychand

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