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Kabel Deutschland to Form Monopoly

Germany's dominant cable network operator, Kabel Deutschland GmbH, is set to buy out its three domestic competitors for about €2.7 billion ($3.3 billion), in a deal that will almost double the number of households it serves and give the company complete coverage of the German cable market. The company has agreed to buy Ish GmbH from a group of banks and also to acquire Kabel BW and Iesy eKabel Hessen GmbH. Ish serves about 4 million households in North Rhine Westphalia, Germany's most populous state and the country's industrial heartland. Iesy and Kabel BW serve customers in the states of Hesse, home of Germany's financial capital of Frankfurt, and Baden- Württemberg, in the country's southwest. Kabel Deutschland already serves all the remaining 16 German federal states. Kabel Deutschland alone has more than 10 million radio and TV households, while Ish has 4 million households and Iesy and Kabel BW each have 1.3 million and 2.3 million, respectively.