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European cable companies are buzzing like TVs on the blink. Shares in most quoted groups have risen by 10 per cent or more over the past two weeks, easily outstripping modest gains in European equity markets generally. A $23-billion (U.S.) bid for Britain’s Virgin Media by Liberty Global earlier this month – and the U.S.-based group’s confirmation that it is still interested in acquiring other European assets – is one big driver. But so is the prospect of more shifts in the way consumers buy their entertainment and telecom services.