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Eurobites: Liberty-Vodafone Dutch Merger Set for EU Approval – Report

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Nokia completes Gainspeed acquisition; Privacy Shield comes into operation; Virgin Media in fiber-laying farce.

  • An official pronouncement is not expected until later this week, but Reuters reports that the European Union is set to offer its blessing to the proposed merger of the respective Dutch units of Vodafone Group plc (NYSE: VOD) and Liberty Global Inc. (Nasdaq: LBTY), citing two people "familiar with the matter." Since she took over the role in 2014, European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager has been seen to take a hard line on antitrust matters, with her department giving the thumbs-down to the proposed merger of Telefónica UK Ltd. (O2) and Three UK , so there had been fears that this Dutch deal would also be running into the sand. Vodafone had around 5.13 million mobile subscribers and 73,000 fixed-line customers in the Netherlands in September last year, while Liberty Global's Ziggo B.V. operation served 4.1 million pay-TV customers, with 3.1 million using its broadband service and 2.5 million using its voice service. (See Vodafone, Liberty Global Form Dutch JV and Eurobites: O2/3 Deal Facing EU Veto.)

  • Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) has completed its acquisition of Gainspeed , the California-based startup specializing in distributed access architecture (DAA) offerings for the cable industry. Gainspeed's signature tech is a virtual Converged Cable Access Platform (CCAP) device that is intended to move many of the functions of a DOCSIS network closer to the network edge. Financial details of the deal were not disclosed. (See Nokia Completes Acquisition of Gainspeed and Nokia Swings Deal for Gainspeed.)

  • Privacy Shield, the EU-US data transfer protocol that supersedes the discredited Safe Harbor arrangements, officially comes into force today, EurActiv reports. Safe Harbor ended up on the rocks following a legal challenge from privacy activist Max Schrems, who wasn't happy that Facebook's servers in Ireland were sending his data across the Atlantic to the social network's mothership. (See Eurobites: Privacy Shield Gets EU Go-Ahead, Eurobites: EU Data Watchdog Dents Privacy Shield and Eurobites: US Buffs Up Data 'Privacy Shield'.)

  • Is this what they mean by a captive market? UK cable operator Virgin Media Inc. (Nasdaq: VMED) earned itself some bad PR over the weekend as a result of its operatives trapping a family in their own home through their gung-ho approach to cable-laying, as the BBC reports. The owner of the house, in the northern English town of Bolton, emailed pictures of the fiber farce to the Virgin Media CEO, Tom Mockridge. Not so much Project Lightning as a total shower. (See Virgin Media Unveils 'Project Lightning'.)

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

  • Annabell 8/1/2016 | 12:45:15 PM
    nice nice
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