Hutch’s benchmark Ireland deal concerns EU – report

Hutch’s benchmark Ireland deal concerns EU – report

28 JAN 2014

Hutchison Whampoa is set to hear this week from EU telecoms regulators that its proposed takeover by 3 Ireland of rival Telefonica O2 might face problems unless it offers concessions, said Reuters.

The Irish deal and another in Germany (where Telefonica Deutschland wants to buy KPN’s E-Plus unit) are seen as key in the mobile industry for establishing whether the European Commission is prepared to allow consolidation.

The EC announced in November its intention for a further investigation into the €850 million bid by Hutchison Whampoa for Telefonica O2’s Irish unit, a deal that would reduce the number of operators in the country from four to three.

The deal would also vault 3 Ireland from last place to second spot narrowly behind market leader Vodafone.

The EC has set an 24 April deadline to reach a decision on the Ireland deal. In the meantime Hutchison has the right to respond to any objections to the proposed bid.

Concessions typically involve giving up valuable radio spectrum or agreeing to ease the terms on which rivals such as MVNOs can access. Both were given up by Hutchison’s Austria unit to secure EC approval for the acquisition of Orange Austria.

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Richard Handford

Richard is the editor of Mobile World Live’s money channel and a contributor to the daily news service. He is an experienced technology and business journalist who previously worked as a freelancer for many publications over the last decade including...

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