Polish regulator UOKiK has cleared the acquisition of cable operator Aster by UPC Poland – with conditions. UPC will be instructed to sell parts of the Aster network in Warsaw and Krakow within 18 months. This covers networks in buildings where both operators already provide services. The regulator noted that in some areas the two operators have a combined market share of 50-60 per cent. In addition, Aster customers acquired by UPC will have the right to cancel their service agreements without penalties. The divestment remains subject to clearance by the UOKiK.
UPC first announced the takeover of Aster from Mid Europa Partners in December 2010 for $292 million. The takeover strengthens UPC’s lead on the Polish cable market, adding around 380,000 subscribers to its base of over a million.