Liberty Global is finding the Netherlands a tough and highly competitive market with incumbent telco KPN making life difficult for the new Ziggo.
“We’re not pleased with what we’ve been experiencing in Holland. It was sort of a perfect storm on some level which some of it was avoidable and some of it wasn’t, ” said Mike Fries during this week’s investor call.
“The network integration and harmonisation challenges, the customer quality and customer satisfaction issues, are things that we should have managed through better or anticipated better.”
Talking about KPN, Ziggo’s biggest competitor in the market, who is giving Ziggo a run for their money with new products and heavy promotional campaigns. “Are they irrational or are they rational? I think they are; in their minds, they’re being rational.
“They think they’re doing the right thing, building market share, focused principally on market share and not on financials under the assumption that, I don’t know, maybe they’re going to be sold. Maybe that’s the right way for them. Maybe that’s how they’re compensated. I don’t know.
“It is, in fact, a singular strategy. And when you look at a business that continues to have negative results, on the financial side you scratch your head. Having said that, they’re good at what they do. The Dutch consumers are demanding and we have to do better. We will do better.
If you look back quarter to quarter to quarter, this has always been a market where we’re trading blows like a boxing match. For the last three quarters, we’ve been getting punched and three quarters before that we were punching them.”