EU approves Liberty Global's acquisition of Base

05 February 2016 |

The European Union has approved Liberty Global’s acquisition of Belgian operator Base after both companies agreed to sell part of their customer base to an MVNO.

Liberty Global, which owns Belgian’s Telenet, offered to sell Base’s share in MVNOs Mobile Vikings and JIM Mobile to broadcaster Medialaan in November 2015. 

Liberty Global’s Telenet agreed to acquire Base from KPN in April 2015 for $1.43 billion with the aim to provide fixed and mobile services in Belgium. It submitted concessions to the European Commission shortly after in September 2015.

“The remedies adequately address the commission’s concerns since they ensure that a new mobile virtual network operator will enter the retail mobile market, to compensate for the loss of competition,” said the EU.

As part of the deal, Liberty Global will also provide the Belgian broadcaster access to Base’s mobile network, enabling it to operate as an MVNO.

The EU's approval of the Liberty Global-Base deal comes on the back of an impending decision from the regulatory body about Hutchison’s £10.25 billion bid to acquire O2. Hutchison has pledged to freeze pieces for five years and invest in improving coverage and data speeds as part of a move to gain regulatory approval. 

Separately, Liberty Global is said to be withdrawing from its bid of T-Mobile Netherlands, according to De Telegraaf. Earlier this week, Vodafone confirmed that it has renewed talks with Liberty Global about a potential joint venture in the Netherlands.