Liberty Global expects no major regulatory challenge to O2-Virgin deal - CEO

FILE PHOTO: Mike Fries, President and Chief Executive Officer of Liberty Global, delivers his keynote speech at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, February 28, 2017. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard

(Reuters) - Liberty Global LBTYA.O expects no major regulatory challenge to a deal to merge its Virgin Media unit with British mobile operator O2, owned by Spain's Telefonica TEF.MC, its chief executive said on Thursday.

“We don’t expect major challenges to this,” Mike Fries told a conference call after announcing the deal, which if concluded would create a major new player in UK mobile and broadband communications.

Fries said Britain’s exit from the European union did not change the benefits or advantages of the merger, and was “a major vote of confidence by both companies in the U.K.”

Reporting by Isla Binnie, Editing by Inti Landauro