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Austria operator consolidation deals completed


Two deals to consolidate the Austrian mobile market have been completed, with Hutchison Whampoa’s 3 Austria acquiring Orange Austria, and Telekom Austria securing budget brand YESSS from Orange.

France Telecom-Orange announced that its 35 percent stake in Orange Austria and the 65 percent belonging to Mid Europa Partners have now been acquired by 3 Austria.

The deal was first agreed in February 2012 but only received regulatory and antitrust approval in December.

The EUR1.3 billion enterprise value of Orange Austria will net France Telecom-Orange around EUR70 million in cash.

The news comes after number-two operator T-Mobile Austria lodged an appeal with Austria’s higher administrative court against the reallocation of radio frequencies that will take place as a result of the merger.

Telekom Austria also announced the completion of its EUR390 million acquisition of the YESSS budget brand from Orange Austria, along with frequencies, base stations and “certain intellectual property rights”, in a related deal.

“With this transaction we are able to strengthen our position as the market leader in Austria and can now put all our focus on rolling out the next generation mobile network (LTE)” said Hannes Ametsreiter, Telekom Austria CEO.

The YESSS deal was approved by the Austrian Cartel Court on 27 November, a decision that became legally binding on 21 December. The Austrian competition authority was reportedly considering a protest against the decision.

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