November 27, 2014 / 12:15 PM / 4 years ago

French regulator approves Numericable-Virgin deal

General view of the logo above a store of French cable operator Numericable in Paris, March 7, 2014. REUTERS/Charles Platiau

PARIS (Reuters) - France’s competition watchdog said on Thursday it had given its go-ahead to Numericable’s purchase of Virgin Mobile France.

Numericable, which is also in the process of buying number 2 mobile operator SFR, agreed in June to buy Virgin Mobile France from owners Britain’s Carphone Warehouse and entrepreneur Richard Branson’s Virgin Group for an enterprise value of 325 million euros.

As an MVNO, Virgin Mobile rented capacity on the network of SFR so as to serve its customers.

France’s competition authority had last month given its approval to the Numericable-SFR deal on condition that Numericable divests certain assets and make its cable network available to its competitors on a rental basis.

As a condition of approval of the Virgin deal, the Competition Authority reiterated on Thursday that Numericable would allow rivals to rent capacity on its broadband lines so they can match all-included bundles of mobile and internet.

Numericable’s parent is Luxembourg-based Altice.

Reporting by Natalie Huet; Editing by Leila Abboud

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