The European Commission has recommenced its probe into Orange’s €3.4 billion bid for Jazztel, the Spanish fixed operator and MVNO, after the French operator provided details of the deal that the regulator had requested, according to Reuters.
The EC expanded its probe in December which was then suspended on 14 January. The new provisional deadline for a decision is now 30 April. The previous deadline was 24 April.
A source said regulators were waiting for answers to as many as 60 questions.
At the time, the Commission had said it was concerned “that the proposed transaction may lead to a significant loss of competitive pressure for fixed internet access services and fixed-mobile multiple play offers.”
Last year, both companies offered concessions to the EU watchdog, but sources believe they were not regarded as sufficient and that the Commission was likely to increase pressure for the concessions to be enhanced.
If the takeover is successful, it will create Spain’s second-biggest fixed broadband operator and strengthen the operator’s position in the mobile market, where it is in third spot, behind Telefonica and Vodafone.
Last week, Stephane Richard, the chairman and CEO of Orange, who had earlier held out against any call for the French group to sweeten the offer made to Jazztel, said he hoped to close the deal in the spring.