European watchdog rejects UK calls to examine O2 takeover

European watchdog rejects UK calls to examine O2 takeover
The European Commission has rejected the UK Competition and Markets Authority’s (CMA) request to examine the takeover of O2 by Three’s owner Hutchison Whampoa, Reuters has reported.
According to an unnamed EU executive that spoke to the agency, the decision was taken on the basis that it would ‘ensure consistency’.
‘The (European) Commission concluded that, given its extensive experience in assessing cases in this sector, it was better placed to deal with the transaction and ensure consistency in the application of merger control rules in the mobile telecommunications sectors across the European Economic Area,’ the EU executive said.

The CMA responds

Responding to the news the CMA told Mobile:‘The CMA has had extensive, constructive engagement with the Commission on this case and fully expects this co-operation to continue and increase now that the case remains with the Commission. In particular, the CMA intends to make representations on the competition impact of the merger in the UK as well as on any potential remedy proposals made by the parties.’

Back in October the CMA asked the European regulator for permission to assess the deal. It argued that with BT’s takeover of EE taking place at a similar time it needed the power to examine both deals on a UK level.
Updated 13:23 04/12/2015



Few worries about BT taking over EE, as while it will consolidate the overall comm's market, there will still be 4 mobile nets. The merger of O2 & 3 ...
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