“This year we had a budget of investments/acquisitions of EUR 5 million. Much of this has already gone into speeding up the introduction of internet access services and launching telephony services in the area we cover, and another part into the acquisition of small and medium players locally,” said Dinu Malacopol, CEO of Digital Cable Systems.”In spite of all this, we believe the ideal period for acquisitions will be the first half of next year when some of the providers of cable, internet and telephony will be forced by the current context to sell their clients to the large players on the market.” The funds will come from several channels, mainly from the profit generated by DCS, a capital increase from the shareholders and attracting funds from the financial-banking market. The main issues that will lead to the consolidation of the market will be the decrease in prices for internet, television and telephony. Also, some operators will find it impossible to afford both their operational costs and the necessary investments to remain competitive on the market. “We have delayed the decision to buy some local operators precisely because we want to acquire ‘healthy' companies with a solid growth potential for reasonable prices and in accordance with the business model which is adapted to the recession period. We believe the first half of next year will be auspicious for acquisitions,” said Malacopol.DCS statistics show that there are several thousand small companies and the number of cable subscribers the firm has surpasses 1 million. Malacopol estimates that the value for which acquisitions will be made in telecom in the first part of next year will be significantly under EUR 100/per subscriber, 50 percent less than in 2008.