EU antitrust regulators will probably launch an in-depth investigation into Orange’s €3.4 billion bid for Jazztel, the Spanish fixed operator and MVNO, Reuters has reported.
The EC could announce the investigation today (4 December), according to sources.
An investigation of this sort can take anywhere between 90 to 150 working days to conclude.
The European Commission is also expected to decline a request by Spain’s competition authority to look into the case.
Both Orange and Jazztel offered concessions to the EC last month, but sources believe they were not regarded as sufficient and the Commission is likely to increase pressure for these concessions to be enhanced.
If the takeover is successful, it will create Spain’s second-biggest fixed broadband operator and strengthen the operator’s position in the mobile market, where it is in third spot, behind Telefonica and Vodafone.
Orange would also be able to increase the number of its broadband subscribers by 1.5 million and enhance its quadplay offering.
None of the parties have commented on the issue as yet, but the deadline for the Commission’s preliminary review is December 4.