Vodafone Mulling Liberty Global Acquisition

There have been unconfirmed reports that Vodafone is considering making an offer to acquire Liberty Global and Tesco’s loss-making online video business, Blinkbox. Reuters said that Vodafone is reviewing potential acquisitions in order to compete more effectively with rivals such as the UK’s BT, which is itself in talks to buy either EE or O2. The Financial Times reported that Vodafone is also looking to bolster its TV business ahead of a planned home broadband and internet launch in 2015.

The report suggests that Liberty Global would be an attractive target because of its extensive ownership of cable networks across Europe. Earlier this year, Vodafone acquired Spanish cable operator Ono for a total consideration equivalent to €7.2 billion (Display Monitor Vol 21 No 12), having last year taken over Kabel Deutschland (Display Monitor Vol 20 No 26). If Vodafone does make an approach for Liberty Global, any deal would be subject to tough scrutiny by the competition authorities, particularly in countries such as the UK, Germany and the Netherlands.

In related news, Vodafone has also been linked to video streaming service Blinkbox, which would enable the company to add to the other content it currently offers through Netflix.