* European Commission sees no competition hurdles
* Vodafone to compete with Liberty Global, Deutsche Telekom
BRUSSELS, Sept 20 Vodafone won EU
approval on Friday for its 7.7 billion euro ($10.43 billion)
acquisition of Germany's largest cable company, Kabel
British group Vodafone - the world's second-largest telecoms
operator - announced the deal in June, which will help the
company to fend off rivals in its most important market.
The European Commission said the deal did not raise concerns
as it would not appreciably alter competition in the markets
where the companies are currently active.
"The Commission's investigation confirmed that the
activities of the merging parties were mainly complementary,"
the EU's executive said in a statement.
"While Kabel Deutschland primarily offers cable TV, fixed
line telephony and Internet access services, Vodafone's core
business consists of mobile telephony services," it added.
Vodafone, which this month agreed the sale of its stake in
U.S. operator Verizon Wireless for $130 billion, wants to buy
Kabel Deutschland to offer more television and fixed-line
services in Germany, its largest European mobile market.
The British company last week said earlier this week it had
secured 76.48 percent of Kabel Deutschland shares, which is
above the 75 percent minimum acceptance condition it had set.
So-called "quad-play" services offering TV, broadband,
mobile and fixed-line telephony have caught on rapidly in
markets such as France and Spain, but the largely fragmented
German cable market is still some way behind.
This means a deal for the cable company could enable
Vodafone to steal a march on rivals such as Liberty Global's
Unity Media and Deutsche Telekom.
With consumers wanting to watch TV and video on an array of
devices, cable assets have become more attractive as they can
provide internet services at speeds often five times faster than
competing services from traditional telecom companies.