Vodafone Group PLC (LON:VOD) has signed a cable wholesale agreement with Telefónica Deutschland (TD) as it seeks to ease competition concerns over its purchase of German and Eastern European cable assets from Liberty Global PLC (NASDAQ:LBTYA).
The FTSE 100 mobile operator said the deal with TD was subject to the completion of its acquisition of Liberty’s operations in Germany, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Romania, which is conditional on approval from the European Commission.
The agreement would enhance broadband competition in Germany, Vodafone said, with the cable network covering around 23.7mln households.
The contract had been signed on a long-term basis, with TD committed to a minimum level of customers over the period.
Vodafone unveiled the US$22bn deal with Liberty last year, with the Commission launching an investigation into the acquisition in December.
The company said the Commission was expected to begin market testing and make a final decision on the acquisition in July, with completion occurring alter that month.
Nick Read, Vodafone’s chief executive, said the deal with Liberty would enhance infrastructure competition across Germany and was a significant step towards “a Gigabit society” that would allow customers to access digital content and high speeds.
He added that the deal created “a converged national challenger in four important European countries, bringing innovation & greater choice”.
In early deals on Tuesday, Vodafone shares were 1.8% higher at 142.1p.
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