Vodafone loses appeal against KPN's acquisition of Reggefiber
15 February 2018 | Natalie Bannerman
Vodafone Netherlands has lost its appeal in the Dutch Corporate Appeals Court (CBb) against KPN’s €610 million acquisition of Reggefiber.
KPN announced its intention to buy Reggefiber back in 2014 in an attempt to strengthen the operator’s position in the Dutch broadband market. Vodafone initially launched its appeal against Authority for Consumers & Markets (ACM) the Dutch regulator back in 2016 in the appeals court in Rotterdam and this new case with the CBb is Vodafone’s second appeal.
Vodafone has appealed on the grounds of Reggefiber's wholesale tariffs and the potential risks of margin squeeze, to which the CBb says in unfounded due to the rules placed on KPN by the ACM on margin squeezes which forms part of the regulation of the company and as the same as KPN, Reggefiber's network is subject to wholesale access regulations.
The ACM originally assessed the takeover in terms of competition and the CBb authorised this when its saw no reason why the deal would seriously distort competition in the market for unbundled access. The ACM also regulates KPN's networks on copper and fibre.
Additionally back in 2015, Vodafone was leveraging KPN’s network to offer internet and TV services, meaning that Vodafone was dependent on KPN for a number of services. As well as this Vodafone also commissioned KPN to build a TV platform and was unhappy with the performance of what KPN delivered for which they also went to court and was unsuccessful.
Earlier this month the Vodafone Group was in talks with Liberty Global to buy some of Liberty’s cable assets in Europe. Talks have taken place between the two parties before but discussions ended over two years ago. In a statement, Vodafone said the current round of discussions are at an "early stage" and are centred on it buying unspecified "overlapping continental European assets".