EU regulators set Nov. 3 deadline for Liberty Global, Ziggo deal

BRUSSELS Mon Aug 25, 2014 6:37am EDT

BRUSSELS Aug 25 (Reuters) - European Union antitrust regulators have resumed their review of cable TV provider Liberty Global's bid for Dutch peer Ziggo and will decide by Nov. 3 whether to clear the deal.

The European Commission unveiled the new deadline on its website but did not provide details. It halted its scrutiny of the deal on Aug. 4 while waiting for more data from the U.S. cable company.

The EU competition watchdog restarted the clock after Liberty Global tweaked its pledge not to block so-called over-the-top TV service providers such as Netflix from accessing its Internet network for four years, a person familiar with the matter said.

That move was aimed at allaying EU concerns that the deal may reduce competition in the Netherlands, resulting in consumers paying more for cable services.

The source said another Liberty Global proposal, to sell its pay TV channel Film1, was still on the table and that it had not been required to divest other assets.

The deal values Ziggo and its debt at around 10 billion euros ($13.20 billion).

Liberty Global, controlled by billionaire John Malone is keen to expand its cable empire in Europe which accounts for 90 percent of its revenues.

($1 = 0.7577 Euros) (Reporting by Foo Yun Chee, editing by Robert-Jan Bartunek and Jason Neely)