Orange Belgium has completed its acquisition of Belgian cable operator VOO.
The deal gives the mobile operator a controlling stake in the company, with Orange scooping a 75 percent stake minus one share in VOO, with the remaining 25 percent plus one share retained by Nethys.
First announced in late 2021, Orange has acquired the majority stake in VOO for €1.8 billion ($1.92bn).
The deal was given the go-ahead by the European Commission in March of this year, following a lengthy competition investigation into the deal that began in July 2022.
"For decades, we developed our telecom skills and pioneering spirit to challenge the market, but as of today, we have the industrial power, tech means, and commercial scale to accelerate and lead the future of the Belgian telco market in the interest of all consumers, employees, and society in general," said Xavier Pichon, CEO of Orange Belgium.
To remedy concerns around competition fears, Orange signed wholesale agreements with another Belgian operator, Telenet, that will see both operators provide access to each other's fixed networks.
The 15-year deal means that Telenet will gain access to VOO and Brutélé’s HFC network in Wallonia and one-third of Brussels, covering around 1.8 million homes passed, as well as future FTTH deployments.
"To ensure that consumers continue to benefit from competitive telecommunication offerings in those regions, Orange has committed to providing access for at least 10 years to Telenet to its newly acquired fixed network," said European commissioner for competition, Margrethe Vestager, earlier this year.
The operator also revealed its 3G switch-off in the country will begin in January 2024.
Orange said that the switch off of the service will be carried out on a region-by-region basis, ahead of completion by 2025, with the municipality of Wetteren in eastern Flanders to be the first to lose the service.
This will be followed by Namur (February), coastal areas and the High Fens region (April), Antwerp, Ghent, Leuven (May), and Mons (June).
Orange's 2G network will remain in service until at least 2028.