Dutch regulator tells EU it wants to review Ziggo deal

BRUSSELS Wed Mar 26, 2014 6:06am EDT

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BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Dutch regulator ACM has told the European Commission that it wants to decide whether to clear Liberty Global's (LBTYA.O) bid for Dutch cable operator Ziggo (ZIGGO.AS), as the 10 billion euro ($13.8 billion) deal only affects the Netherlands.

The deal is one of three proposed telecoms mergers being scrutinized by the European Union antitrust authority. The others are Telefonica's (TEF.MC) acquisitions in Ireland and Germany.

U.S. cable operator Liberty Global, controlled by billionaire John Malone, is seeking to reinforce its dominance of Europe's cable market where demand is growing for faster Internet and digital television.

The ACM made its request to the European Commission late on Tuesday.

Analysts said it was likely the Commission would reject the request in order to keep a consistent policy on telecoms mergers.

Commission spokesman for competition policy Antoione Colombani said the EU executive has extended the deadline for the Ziggo review to May 8 following the Dutch regulator's request. "We will carefully examine it," he said.

($1 = 0.7258 Euros)

(Reporting by Foo Yun Chee; Editing by Erica Billingham)

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