The European Commission has approved two joint ventures set up between Cable and Wireless and VEBA in the telecommunications sector. The first of these, VEBACOM, will bring together the telecommunications activities of the two companies in Germany, including Personal Communications Network (PCN) services, paging and various value-added services. VEBACOM is also intending to expand its activities into public service network provisions once the German telecommunications market has been liberalized and other companies are allowed to compete with Deutsche Telekom. The other joint venture, Cable and Wireless Europe, will combine the two companies' telecommunications operations in the rest of the EU, plus Switzerland, but excluding the United Kingdom. Cable and Wireless will retain its UK telecommunications activities (Mercury Communications and Mercury One2One) outside the joint venture. The operation presents no competition problems. There is no significant overlap in the activities of the two companies and, in any case, strong competitors are present in all the markets on which the two joint ventures will operate. These will include, in particular, the incumbent national telecommunications operators and the emerging multinational telecommunications alliances. Moreover, in markets where liberalization is envisaged in 1998, such as Germany, the joint venture will provide a new and potentially strong competitor to the existing national telecommunications monopoly.