US cable TV pioneer John Malone's empire just got bigger.

His Liberty Media International group has received the go-ahead from stockholders to merge with UnitedGlobalCom. Liberty offered in January to buy the rest of the UGC stock it does not already own - about 47% percent of shares outstanding.

The deal will create a holding company called Liberty Global, with UGC and Liberty Media becoming wholly owned subsidiaries.

UGC provides video, voice and broadband internet access, with operations in fifteen countries. It is the largest cable operator in more than a half-dozen European nations, including France, the Netherlands and Poland.

Liberty Media owns interests in broadband distribution and content companies operating mainly in Europe, Asia and Latin America It also holds a substantial stake in Japan's largest cable operator.

Says Malone: "We're primarily focused on expansion into Eastern Europe. We're looking at acquisitions in Western Europe that would fill out the complement of businesses we have. We're going to aggressively develop in Japan in both cable and programming."

Data sourced from multiple origins; additional content by WARC staff