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August 15, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

The apparent plans of John Malone to create the kind of cable superpower overseas that he achieved in the U.S. when his Tele-Communications Inc. was the dominant cable operator in the 1990s suffered a setback today (Thursday) when a German court blocked the effort of Malone’s Liberty Global to merge two cable companies that it controls, Unitymedia and KabelBW. Although the merger had been approved by German anti-trust regulators, their decision had been appealed by competitors Deutsche Telekom and Netcologne, who complained that the merger would result in the Malone CATV systems controlling the markets in their areas. Although the regulator had imposed conditions on the merger, the Dusseldorf Higher Regional Court ruled that those conditions “aren’t fit to make up for the increase of the market-dominating position” that would result from the merger. In an interview with Bloomberg News, Stuart Gordon, a media analyst at Berenberg Bank in London said, “It’s definitely a negative for Liberty Global and it adds uncertainty, but it’s highly unlikely you’d see the entire deal being unhinged.”