Liberty Global offers to sell Film1 in Netherlands to secure Ziggo deal

25 July 2014 | Kavit Majithia

Cable operator Liberty Global has reportedly offered to sell off its pay-TV channel Film1 as part of its concessions to gain approval in its bid to acquire Dutch player Ziggo.

According to a Reuters source, the company – owned by billionaire John Malone – is trying to push through the Ziggo acquisition as it attempts to deepen its footprint across Europe.

There are anti-trust concerns from the EU over Liberty Global’s proposed $6.8 billion takeover bid, with a probe launched earlier this year by the EU given Liberty Global’s extensive presence in the Netherlands.

It already owns UPC, the country’s second-largest cable operator, and will gain market dominance through its Ziggo acquisition. The EU is concerned that the company will raise consumer prices as a result.

Liberty Global has also said, as part of the concessions, it will not block over-the-top (OTT) TV providers from accessing its network for four years.

OTT companies, including video streaming company Netflix, utilise operator networks to provide content to their subscribers.