Virgin Media buyout going through without opposition

Reports today suggest that the Liberty Global buyout of Virgin Media will be approved by the EU Competition Commission unconditionally.

The $15.8 billion bid will be rubber stamped, say Reuters sources, ensuring that the firm will become part of the largest cable operator in Europe.

"The European Commission does not have any competition concerns about the deal," said one of the news network's sources.

The Commission's decision will be made public on 15 April, after which time there will be no barrier to Liberty Global becoming a major rival to News Corporation - which still holds a majority share in Virgin Media's main rival in the pay TV and broadband space, BSkyB.

It is believed that, with debt calculated into the value, Virgin Media is now worth $24.1 billion - was $23.3 billion at the time of the official acquisition announcement.

Speaking during that announcement, Mike Fries, CEO of US company Liberty Global, said: "Adding Virgin Media to our large and growing European operations is a natural extension of the value creation strategy we've been successfully using for over seven years.

"Virgin Media will add significant scale and a first-class management team in Europe's largest and most dynamic media and communications market. After the deal, roughly 80 per cent of Liberty Global's revenue will come from just five attractive and strong countries - the UK, Germany, Belgium, Switzerland and the Netherlands."