The merger would "strengthen the nationwide oligopoly of the two major regional cable network operators" KDG and unitymedia kabelbw, antitrust office president andreas mundt declared in bonn on friday. KDG has already abandoned the plan because of foreseeable resistance from competition watchers and now wants to vigorously expand its own network.
"Tele columbus is KDG’s most important competitor in the new federal states. Both companies are in direct infrastructure competition with each other, especially in berlin as in almost all other conurbations in eastern germany. For the housing industry, a competitive alternative was eliminated in many places in the future after the merger," said the top competition watchdog. KDG was not prepared to sell tele columbus’ particularly critical urban networks to third parties. But the loss of tele columbus had further entrenched the dominance of the two rough regional cable operators.
KDG is the largest cable network operator in germany with 8.5 million customers. For 600 million euros, the company wanted to buy its smaller rival with 1.6 million customers in eastern germany, hesse and north rhine-westphalia.
The decision of the cartel office is not yet legally binding. The companies can appeal to the higher regional court of dusseldorf. But KDG CEO adrian von hammerstein had already declared the takeover plan a failure on tuesday. The concessions demanded by the authorities were not economically justifiable. The company now wants to grow without additional purchases. KDG now plans to invest an additional 300 million in expanding its networks.