France set for deeper Numericable/SFR probe

France set for deeper Numericable/SFR probe

31 JUL 2014

France’s competition authority said it is opening an in-depth investigation into Numericable’s planned acquisition of SFR, stating that the deal “raises serious competition concerns”.

The watchdog (Autorite de la Concurrence) said it is taking the step after examining a filing made by Numericable, and following an initial consultation with other stakeholders.

The new probe will see “extensive consultations” with other interested parties, as well as the options open to the telecom and media regulators – ARCEP and CSA, respectively. If necessary, it will also consult on potential remedies should the merger impede competition.

In-depth applications must be performed in principle within 65 working days, although extensions are possible under certain conditions.

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