Jörn Krieger ©RapidTVNews | 05-08-2011
The planned takeover of Kabel BW by Liberty Global has been met with resistance by ProSiebenSat.1.
The German TV group fears that variety in the media market could suffer if the US company acquires Germany’s third-largest cable operator following its purchase of the second-largest player, Unitymedia.
“We are interested in a functioning cable market in Germany. The more market players there are, the better it is for the TV market,” ProSiebenSat.1 CEO Thomas Ebeling said during the presentation of the broadcaster’s latest financial figures, according to German business newspaper Handelsblatt.
The company also wants to voice its opposition to the German Cartel Office which is currently probing the deal. “We are closely following the planned acquisition,” said Ebeling. “We will evaluate in detail our response to the Cartel Office.”
Liberty Global wants to take over Kabel BW for around €3.16 billion from Swedish financial investor EQT. The company serves 2.4 million customers in federal state Baden-Württemberg, while Unitymedia has 4.6 million customers in North-Rhine Westphalia and Hessen.
By merging both cable operators, Liberty Global could create a strong counterweight to market leader Kabel Deutschland, which serves 8.8 million customers.
The Cartel Office wants to reach a decision by the end of the year.