Grudge holding KPN wins appeal over UPC-Ziggo merger

KPN has thrown a considerable spanner into the Liberty Global machine as the European Court of Justice overturns a decision to approve the merger between UPC and Ziggo back in 2014.

Liberty Global made the move to merge its UPC brand with Ziggo back in 2014, which was approved by the European Commission. KPN’s temper tantrum appeal is based on the argument the European Commission did not consider the anti-competitive impact of such a merger on the Pay-TV sports market in the Netherlands.

Agreeing with KPN, the European Court of Justice is also rubbing salt into the wounds of the European Commission by forcing the bureaucrats to pay the telcos legal fees. But that will not be the end of the ripples.

What is unknown for the moment is the impact this decision will have on the joint-venture between Liberty Global and Vodafone. The pair have merged certain parts of the business to form Vodafone Ziggo, though this new organization is currently in the process of integrating its mobile and cable operations. This is a complicated enough job as it is, such a distraction will probably not be appreciated by the team.

In terms of the next steps, Liberty Global will once again have to go through the clearance process, this time making considerations for the competition concerns. The decision will not have an impact on the deal between Vodafone and Liberty Global, this was a completely separate process, but it is an interference nonetheless.

KPN will be having a little giggle to itself though. Chaos achieved.

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