December 13, 2011 / 2:05 PM / 8 years ago

UPDATE 1-Watchdog set to clear Liberty's Kabel BW deal-letter

* Liberty’s Unitymedia, Kabel BW had offered concessions

* Final decision due on Thursday - Unitymedia

* German Cartel Office declines comment

FRANKFURT, Dec 13 (Reuters) - German antitrust regulators are prepared to approve the contested merger of German cable firms Unitymedia and Kabel BW after certain concessions were agreed, according to a letter obtained by Reuters.

A spokesman for the watchdog said a decision had not yet been made, while Unitymedia, owned by Liberty Global, would only comment that it expected a decision on Thursday.

Germany’s cartel office said in October it was concerned about the prospect of Liberty Global controlling two of the country’s three main cable operators, putting the proposed takeover in serious doubt.

Liberty, under U.S. media mogul John Malone, triumphed over rivals to strike a deal to buy KabelBW from Swedish buyout firm EQT for 3.16 billion euros ($4.18 billion) in March.

But the Cartel Office complained in October that Germany’s three largest cable TV operators, with Kabel Deutschland as the biggest player, already constitute a “dominating oligopoly”, and that a tie-up would only worsen the situation.

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