Vodafone has agreed a cable wholesale agreement in Germany with Telefónica Deutschland – a deal it hopes will seal EU approval for its’ Liberty acquisition.
The agreement will allow Telefónica DE to offer high-speed broadband services to consumers on Vodafone and Unitymedia’s cable network in Germany, and is subject to the completion of Vodafone’s acquisition of Liberty Global’s operations in Germany, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Romania which is conditional on European Commission approval.
Under the terms of the agreement, Telefónica DE will be able to market broadband services over the combined Vodafone and Unitymedia cable network in Germany, which covers 23.7 million households. Telefónica DE’s customers will benefit from access to download speeds of up to 300 Mbps on the combined cable network, superior to the highest available speeds offered by wholesale DSL access, enabling Telefónica DE to deliver competitive broadband and over-the-top (OTT) TV services.
The agreement has been signed on a long-term basis, with Telefónica DE committed to achieving a minimum level of customers over the term of the contract.
Following discussions with the European Commission, Vodafone has submitted a remedy package comprising the agreement and a commitment to ensure sufficient capacity is available for OTT TV distribution. In combination, the Cable Wholesale Agreement and OTT Commitment will enhance broadband competition in Germany to the benefit of consumers and broadcasters. The European Commission now intends to undertake market testing of the remedy package, which is expected to conclude during May 2019.
Vodafone now expects the European Commission to undertake market testing of the remedy package, and to make its decision on the Transaction by July 2019 with completion occurring later that month.
Nick Read, CEO of Vodafone Group, commented: “Our deal with Liberty Global is transformational in many ways. It is a significant step towards a Gigabit society, which will enable consumers & businesses to access the world of content & digital services at high speeds. It also creates a converged national challenger in four important European countries, bringing innovation & greater choice. We are very pleased to announce today our cable wholesale access agreement with Telefonica DE, enabling them to bring faster broadband speeds to their customers and further enhancing infrastructure competition across Germany.”