Germany’s Federal Cartel Office (FCO) has informed Kabel Deutschland that the remedy package offered by the cableco for its planned acquisition of smaller rival Tele Columbus is not sufficient enough to overcome its concerns about the deal. Last month Kabel Deutschland offered to sell Tele Columbus’ network assets in Berlin, Dresden and Cottbus, including the respective housing association contracts, in a bid to address concerns raised by the antitrust regulator in December 2012 that the acquisition would have a negative impact on competition. According to a press release from Kabel Deutschland, the cableco’s proposed network divestments have not overcome the FCO’s objections, however, with the regulator requiring the divestment of approximately 60% of the Tele Columbus networks in Eastern Germany – twice as many as offered by Kabel Deutschland. According to a report by Bloomberg which cites people familiar with the matter, the announcement comes just as Kabel Deutschland has allegedly hired Morgan Stanley and Perella Weinberg Partners to prepare for a potential approach from Vodafone Group. Last week Vodafone was said to be considering a potential acquisition of Kabel Deutschland, in a move that would give the UK-based company access to around 8.5 million paying households and potential customers for combined fixed line, mobile and TV services.
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