Deutsche Telekom was tipped to be on the brink of offering the European Commission (EC) concessions to gain clearance for a merger in the Netherlands, a matter of weeks after blasting concerns over the deal.
Sources told Reuters the Germany-headquartered operator would pitch its ideas to the EC in the coming weeks in a bid to gain approval for the tie-up of T-Mobile Netherlands and Tele2 Netherlands. While no specifics were given regarding what concessions might be made, the news agency noted the move could convince the Commission to extend a 30 November deadline for issuing a final decision on the matter.
A Deutsche Telekom delegation met with EC officials on Monday (8 October) in a meeting which also included representatives from Vodafone Group, the two Dutch operators and a number of European competition authorities, Reuters said.
The end-November deadline is a notable factor in Reuters report: the EC had twice delayed the target for issuing its ruling, with no date given following the second postponement.
Deutsche Telekom last month said the EC is concerned the deal will result in higher prices in the Netherlands because it will cut the number of full MNOs from four to three. At the time, the operator pulled no punches in its criticism of the Commission’s statement of objections, noting the market share of the merged company would still be well behind that of market leaders KPN and VodafoneZiggo.
The parent companies also argued the deal is not traditional because Tele2 largely relies on T-Mobile’s network in the Netherlands.
In August, Deutsche Telekom CFO Thomas Dannenfeldt warned failure to approve the merger would hinder 5G deployment in the Netherlands because the country needs a “strong third integrated provider”.Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back