June 15, 2016 / 9:50 AM / 3 years ago

EU to decide on Vodafone, Liberty Global's Dutch deal by July 19

Vodafone branding is seen outside a retail store in London November 12, 2013. REUTERS/Toby Melville/File Photo

BRUSSELS - European Union antitrust regulators will rule by July 19 whether to clear a plan by British mobile operator Vodafone and U.S. cable company Liberty Global to merge their Dutch operations.

The companies sought approval from the European Commission on Tuesday, according to a filing on the EU competition authority website.

The Commission can either approve the deal with or without conditions in the preliminary phase or open a full-scale investigation if it has serious concerns the tie-up may lead to higher consumer bills.

The combined company would be the second largest telecoms provider in the Netherlands after former incumbent KPN. The industry has seen a wave of consolidation in recent years as companies seek scale in order to invest in costly fast-speed network infrastructure.

Reporting by Foo Yun Chee; editing by Adrian Croft

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