Media reports on the status of a European Commission (EC) investigation into a proposed merger of Orange and Masmovil’s respective operations in Spain claimed the regulator is poised to issue a list of potential objections.

Bloomberg and Reuters separately stated in the coming days, Orange and Masmovil will be given a list of issues the EC believes could hamper the Spanish market should the deal go ahead as planned.

The statement of objections is a formal step in the type of probe currently being undertaken by the EC into the proposed tie-up.

It will be issued if any concerns are uncovered and gives the opportunity for the parties involved to address specific issues before a final decision is made.

Orange and Masmovil announced their intent to merge operations in Spain in July 2022, citing significant efficiency gains alongside an ability to accelerate fibre and 5G investments when operating as one entity.

The move came after months of speculation on M&A activity between the country’s operators following a sustained period where various players were bemoaning the level of competition.

Having conducted an initial investigation on the deal in April, the EC launched its in-depth probe focused on assessing the impact on consumer pricing and the wholesale sector. A final decision is expected in September.