Orange has been given the go-ahead to acquire a majority stake in Belgian cable operators VOO and Brutélé by Orange.

It comes after the European Commission approved the deal, under the EU Merger Regulation.

Orange store
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It follows a lengthy competition investigation into the deal that began in July of last year.

In late 2021, Orange agreed to acquire 75 percent minus one share of VOO via a deal that valued VOO at €1.8 billion ($1.93bn).

The decision from the Commission has been welcomed by Orange, which expects the deal to complete in Q2 2023.

Xavier Pichon, chief executive officer at Orange Belgium, said: "After more than 25 years of Orange's presence in Belgium, the acquisition of VOO is a major step and will enable us to operate a very high-speed network in Wallonia and part of Brussels, thereby reinforcing the deployment of our convergent multigigabit strategy at a national level.

"Our ambitious investment plan, in combination with VOO's and Orange's skills and expertise, will strengthen the quality of our offers to the customers and ensure competitiveness in the Walloon and Brussels regions.”

To remedy concerns around competition fears, Orange signed wholesale agreements with another Belgian operator, Telenet, that will see both operators provide access to each other's fixed networks.

The 15-year deal means that Telenet will gain access to VOO and Brutélé’s HFC network in Wallonia and one-third of Brussels, covering around 1.8 million homes passed, as well as future FTTH deployments.

"To ensure that consumers continue to benefit from competitive telecommunication offerings in those regions, Orange has committed to providing access for at least 10 years to Telenet to its newly acquired fixed network," said European commissioner for competition, Margrethe Vestager.

"This would enable Telenet to enter the Walloon region and parts of Brussels with its fixed telecommunication services in competition primarily with Proximus and Orange as well as other smaller providers."

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