CK Hutchison’s high-stakes summit with the EC drew existing rivals, and one potential new entrant, but was short on immediate results.
Yesterday’s hearing gave Hutchison “the opportunity to have another fruitful exchange with the commission and the member states’ representatives concerning its proposed acquisition of O2 in the UK,” the company said in a statement.
However, there has been no subsequent announcement about what remedies Hutch must accept if it wants its £10.25 billion takeover to go ahead.
Other attendees included leading rivals in the mobile market Vodafone and BT (owner of EE), according to Reuters and Bloomberg. Also present were other interested parties such as Sky, Liberty Global and TalkTalk. In an increasingly converged marketplace, a wide range of parties have a vested interest in what happens in the Hutch-O2 deal.
Most interesting was the presence of Xavier Niel’s Iliad, the disruptive French operator which potentially might enter the UK market, following any merger between Hutch and O2.
Iliad appearred to be the only non-UK participant present at the meeting although presumably others are following developments in the hope of taking advantage of the Hutch-O2 deal to enter the UK.
Also present was leading MVNO Tesco Telecom. MVNOs are concerned not just about future retail competition but also whether the terms on which they enjoy wholesale access might change.
Leading mobile phone retailer Dixons Carphone as well as UKB Networks which offers broadband wireless services to businesses and the public sector were both at the meeting, as was Gamma Communications which provides fixed and mobile services to the enterprise sector.