Amsterdam -- Dutch competition regulator NMA announced on November
5th that they were expanding their investigation into Liberty's
proposed acquisition of Dutch cable operator Casema.
The deal had come under fire in the local press because it would give Liberty
control over 60 percent of the cable market in the Netherlands.
Liberty already indirectly controls through United Pan-Europe Communications,
the other major Dutch operators. Liberty has promised to keep both operations
separate but both UPC and Casema were working closely together in the
acquisition of programming and set-top boxes prior to the deal, which was
announced in the summer.
While the deadline for closing the acquisition passed on October
31st, neither Liberty nor France Telecom have walked away from the
deal as they could have under their agreement and both sides appear to be
continuing their negotiations.