German cartel office blocks Tele Columbus sale

Jörn Krieger | 23-02-2013

The Federal German cartel office, Bundeskartellamt, has prohibited the planned takeover of Germany's third-largest cable operator Tele Columbus by market leader Kabel Deutschland. "Following intense evaluation, in particular of the concessions offered by Kabel Deutschland, the cartel office considers the disadvantages posed to competition through the merger to be so strong that it has not been possible to approve the plan," cartel office president Andreas Mundt said in Bonn.
The prohibition by the antitrust authority doesn't come as unexpected as the competition watchdog already informed Kabel Deutschland that the concessions it was willing to make would not be sufficient. In consequence, the cable operator said that it would not pursue the plans further under these circumstances.

The cartel office's decision is not legally valid yet as the companies can still lodge objections against it at the local appeal court Oberlandesgericht Düsseldorf within one month.