Kabel Deutschland Abandons Tele Columbus Bid After Vodafone Deal

Kabel Deutschland AG, the cable company being acquired by Vodafone Group Plc, abandoned a takeover bid for smaller rival Tele Columbus Group that was challenged by German regulators.

Kabel Deutschland dropped its appeal against antitrust authorities’ February decision to block its takeover of Tele Columbus, Marco Gassen, a Kabel spokesman in Unterfoehring, Germany, said by telephone today.

“The success of Vodafone’s takeover bid means the competitive conditions have changed,” Gassen said. “Pursuing a probably time-consuming court case no longer makes any sense.”

Vodafone plans to complete its 7.7 billion-euro ($10.4 billion) takeover of Kabel Deutschland next month after a majority of the German company’s shareholders accepted the deal and the European Commission gave its approval. The purchase is a key tenet of Newbury, England-based Vodafone’s ambition to expand beyond wireless service.

Liberty Global Plc.’s antitrust clearance to buy cable operator Kabel Baden-Wuerttemberg GmbH was last month overturned by a Dusseldorf court that said the competition authority didn’t demand tough enough concessions.

Reuters reported Kabel Deutschland’s decision to withdraw its appeal earlier today.