The European Commission (EC) pushed back its deadline for a decision on the proposed merger of T-Mobile and Tele2’s operations in the Netherlands, a deal which is the subject of an in-depth competition investigation.
When announcing the probe in June, the EC set the date for 17 October. However by 10 July, an additional 20 working days had already been added to the timeline. Last week, the regulator shifted again, this time to an undisclosed date.
The reason for the “deadline suspension” was not given.
T-Mobile Netherlands announced it had struck a deal to acquire Tele2 back in December 2017, hailing the move as one that created a strong third player in the country able to better compete with market leaders KPN and VodafoneZiggo.
After an initial look at the deal, the EC opened a full investigation into the impact of the proposed tie-up, citing concerns of a potential negative impact on consumers and network investment issues. Competition chiefs are also set to assess how the deal is likely to impact wholesale customers of both networks, including MVNOs.
In a statement in June, Tele2 Netherlands said it – and T-Mobile – was in “constructive discussions” with the EC.