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KPN buys up customer rights for CAIW cable in Netherlands

In a rather confused and detail free announcement KPN has surprisingly bought in to a local cable TV company and now it has investments in IPTV, DVB-T

By PETER WHITE

Published: 5 May, 2011

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In a rather confused and detail free announcement KPN has surprisingly bought in to a local cable TV company and now it has investments in IPTV, DVB-T and cable – just a satellite service needed to get a full set. The company is called CAIW Holdings and usually referred to as CaiWAY and it has 150,000 cable customers, but the confusion is that KPN is not buying the “passive network assets,” so it owns the customer relationships, and the content deals perhaps and central billing and help desk, we assume, but not any cable.

In fact it’s unfair to say that it’s entirely a cable company since it runs on both fiber to the home and a fully digital cable network. The purchase is from the current shareholders, Rabo Bouwfonds' Communication Infrastructure Fund (CIF) and CaiWAY's management team, for an undisclosed amount.

CaiWAY provides TV, broadband and telephony services in several municipalities in the Netherlands through its own cable and fiber and through smaller regional cable operators. KPN acquires activities and the service provider network contracts and leases, but will not acquire the passive infrastructure assets.

At the end of last year CaiWAY has 150,000 TV customers which appeared to be going up, however its latest figures seemed to be below this although it gives a range from 158,000 to 143,000. Taking the lower figure this looks like a fall in TV

customers. The deal needs to go through the Netherlands competition authority, the NMa, but this should not be a problem since there are two huge cable operators in the Netherlands, Ziggo and UPC, and another called Delta KabelComfort , which is similar to CaiWAY, with slightly more customers.

KPN used to own one of the major cable operators which ended up being put together with three others to form Ziggo, but really this is not about buying a cable business, so much as depriving rival cable companies of the customers.

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