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Vodafone Wins Approval for Kabel Deal From EU Antitrust Arm

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Sept. 20 (Bloomberg) -- Vodafone Group Plc’s 7.7 billion-euro ($10.4 billion) purchase of Kabel Deutschland Holding AG won European Union antitrust approval allowing the carrier to expand its Internet and television customer-base.

The deal doesn’t raise competition concerns because “the activities of the merging parties were mainly complementary,” the European Commission said in an e-mailed statement today.

While Kabel Deutschland primarily offers cable TV, fixed line telephony and Internet access services, Vodafone’s main business consists of mobile telephony services, the Brussels-based commission said.

The transaction will give Vodafone access to 8.5 million households in Germany, Europe’s largest telecommunications market, and bolster its capacity to sell combined wireless, fixed-line Internet and television services. It would also intensify competition with Deutsche Telekom AG, the country’s former phone monopoly, on whose network Vodafone has so far relied for wireline services.

Germany is Vodafone’s biggest market, accounting for about 18 percent of annual sales, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The company is based in Newbury, England.

To contact the reporter on this story: Gaspard Sebag in Brussels at gsebag@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anthony Aarons at aaarons@bloomberg.net

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