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UI gains control of Drillisch to form fourth German converged operator

Consolidation has been the name of the game in the German market, with the merger of Telefonica’s O2 with KPN’s E-Plus, and Vodafone’s acquisition of leading cableco Kabel Deutschland. The argument used to justify such deals to competition regulators usually centers on creating a stronger challenger to the incumbent, Deutsche Telekom. That is being rehearsed again by fiber provider United Internet (UI), which says it will create a “strong fourth player” by acquiring a majority stake in mobile operator Drillisch. The broadband provider will merge Drillish with its own 1&1 retail broadband subsidiary to create a fixed/mobile operator under that brand, with a customer base of about 12m and annual revenues of more than €3.2bn ($3.5bn). It will be in…

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