Cartel office approves KDG Orion swap


FRANKFURT, Germany -- The German cartel office is giving the green light to cable giant Kabel Deutschland's (KDG) to acquire 1.2 million subscribers from competitor Orion Cable for 585 million euros ($907 million).

A KDG spokesperson on Thursday confirmed media reports that the deal would be waved through. Official approval is expected by early April.

KDG's new subscribers are all in regions it already supplies. The Orion deal will allow the cable giant to market directly to subscribers, something it hopes will foster the rollout of its full line of services.

As part of the deal, KDG agreed to withdraw from its bid for independent cabler Primacom, clearing the way for Orion to acquire the group, which reaches about 1 million homes. After that deal, Orion and its parent company, Telecolumbus, will have around 4 million cable subscribers in Germany.

KDG remains Germany's top cable group, reaching some 9 million homes.