EU antitrust body OKs Liberty Global's $13B bid for Dutch cable operator Ziggo with conditions

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BRUSSELS — The European Union's antitrust authority has granted conditional approval to Liberty Global PLC's proposed 10 billion-euro ($13 billion) deal to fully take over Dutch cable operator Ziggo NV.

The EU Commission said Friday the acquisition may go ahead provided Liberty sells one pay TV channel and changes its broadcaster contracts to ensure it won't abuse its market position to undermine competition.

Liberty — the cable firm chaired by American tycoon John Malone — announced its plan to buy the 71.5 percent of Ziggo it doesn't already own in January to merge it with another major Dutch cable provider it owns, UPC.

The Commission says selling premium pay TV channel Film1 and allowing broadcasters to offer their services over the Internet will ensure sufficient competition in the Dutch market.

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