Table: German Challenge

Liberty Media is poised to become Germany's dominant cable-TV provider. But here's why Chairman Malone may have trouble making it pay:

-- Germans are historically reluctant to shell out for extra TV services, making it tough for Malone to recoup estimated $3 billion he'll need to spend on upgrades.

-- Regulatory nightmare: Each state has own regulatory agency that may see Malone as foreign invader. EU could also interfere.

-- Existing broadcasters such as Kirch Group see their turf threatened and will do everything to trip up Liberty.

-- Thousands of local providers often control the so-called last mile, blocking direct access to customers.

Data: BusinessWeek

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