EU regulators set November 5 deadline for $38 billion Liberty, Telefonica deal

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - EU antitrust regulators will decide by Nov. 5 whether to clear Liberty Global LBTYA.O and Telefonica's TEF.MC $38 billion British tie-up to challenge market leader BT BT.L, a European Commission filing showed on Wednesday.

The companies announced the deal in May, which will bring together Britain’s biggest cable TV provider in Liberty’s Virgin Media with Telefonica’s O2, the second-largest mobile operator.

The EU competition enforcer can either clear the deal with or without conditions during its preliminary review or it can open a four-month long investigation if it has serious concerns.

Rivals in the British market include Vodafone VOD.L, Comcast's CMCSA.O Sky, Three UK 0001.HK and TalkTalk TALK.L.

Reporting by Foo Yun Chee; editing by Barbara Lewis