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Vodafone’s purchase of Liberty Global’s assets in and may damage competition in and the Czech Republic, EU antitrust regulators said on Tuesday, as they opened a full-scale probe into the $21.8 billion deal.

The deal between the world’s second-largest and U.S. cable pioneer John Malone’s Liberty would enable to compete more effectively with in the German rival’s home market.

It also expands Vodafone’s reach in broadband, cable and mobile services elsewhere in as it includes assets in the Czech Republic, and

The said some rivals might be shut out of the Czech market, where offers mainly services and offers fixed services.

In Germany, the deal might reduce competition in the and retail TV markets, curb investments in next-generation networks and give the merged firm more power as a TV broadcaster, the EU competition enforcer said.

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