The European Commission has opened an investigation into Vodafone’s proposed acquisition of Liberty Global’s business in Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary and Romania.
The two companies announced the planned €18.4 billion deal in May.
The Commission said it is concerned that the takeover could reduce competition in Germany and the Czech Republic.
Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy, said: “It’s important that all EU consumers have access to affordable and good quality telephone and TV services.
“Our in-depth investigation aims to ensure that Vodafone’s acquisition of Liberty Global’s telecommunications businesses in Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary and Romania will not lead to higher prices, less choice and reduced innovation in telecoms and TV services for consumers”.
The Commission will now carry out an in-depth investigation into the effects of the transaction to determine whether its initial competition concerns are confirmed. It has 90 working days (until 2nd May) to take a decision.