That means the only alternative for Kabel -- which has said it would prefer to remain independent -- is a takeover by another rumored suitor, the U.K.'s Vodafone Group plc, which could then add that crucial cellular component to Kabel's regional business.
Meanwhile, Malone's already adding quad play to his European cable business -- he is working to complete the $23.3 billion acquisition of Virgin Media Inc., a U.K. cable company that already includes mobile alongside DSL, phone and cable.
Written by Andrew Bulkeley in Berlin
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