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08 February 2007
The Competition Authority has cleared the acquisition of joint control of Essent Kabelcom by investment companies Cinven and Warburg Pincus.(1) Kabelcom is the third cable company to be jointly owned by Cinven and Walburg Pincus. Cinven and Warburg Pincus already have joint control of Casema and Multikabel. The three cable companies combined will create the largest cable company in the Netherlands. Kabelcom, Casema and Multikabel will provide services to 55% of Dutch cable television subscribers.
The notifying parties requested referral from the European Commission to the authority. The European Commission used the full 25 working days to decide on the referral, even though only seven working days elapsed between the filing of the reasoned submission by the parties and the authority's agreement to the referral.
In its investigation, the authority distinguished the retail and wholesale market(s) for the provision of television signals via cable; the geographical dimensions of these markets are limited to the areas covered by each individual cable network.
The authority concluded that the stronger buying position of the companies with regard to programme providers would not negatively affect the selection of television channels provided to consumers. The authority further found that the concentration would not adversely affect emerging alternatives (eg, digital television and digital subscriber line television).
For further information on this topic please contact Martijn Snoep or Jolling De Pree at De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek by telephone (+31 70 328 53 28) or by fax (+31 70 328 53 25) or by email (firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com).
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Jolling De Pree