Dutch regulator keen to review Liberty's Ziggo deal

BRUSSELS Fri Jan 31, 2014 8:14am EST

BRUSSELS Jan 31 (Reuters) - Dutch competition regulator ACM intends to ask to review Liberty Global's proposed purchase of Dutch cable operator Ziggo itself rather than leave it to the European Commission.

A competition review may arise from the U.S. cable group's purchase because it also owns Ziggo's Dutch peer UPC.

"It is fair to assume that we will send the Commission a request that we want the case," a spokesman for the Dutch watchdog said.

The case echoes a request by the German regulator to review Telefonica's proposed 8.6 billion euro ($11.7 billion) bid for KPN's German unit E-Plus, which the Commission rejected.

Analysts believe that the European regulator will also be likely to take on the Ziggo case.

"Liberty also owns Telenet in Belgium, and the European regulator has been very keen to look at telecoms from a European perspective," said analyst Jos Versteeg at Dutch private bank Theodoor Gilissen.