28 February 2014

Telefonica deal scares EU antitrust officials

The European Commission has objected to Telefonica's offer to buy E-Plus, KPN's German mobile unit on competition grounds.

By Melissa Lesh

The European Commission disliked Telefonica's offer to buy E-Plus on competition grounds. kazoka

It has written to the companies about competition concerns and will decide in May whether to allow the proposed 8.55 billion euro deal.  The European Commission’s economic model predicts that the average phone plan will rise in price by between 13 and 17 per cent.  Inter-country telecoms mergers are becoming more popular throughout Europe.  A merger in Austria reduced the number of operators there from four to three, causing the price to rise.  

KPN and Telefonica respond

KPN said the concerns are “common practise in such a regulatory review.”  McDermott Will & Emery represented Telefonica with the purchase, headed by corporate partner Joseph Max who is based in Frankfurt.  Brussels based competition partners Martina Maier and Philipp Werner assisted on the transaction.  Allen & Overy advised KPN on the sale of the Dutch company’s mobile unit led by Jan Louis Burggraaf whilst Telefonica Deutschland relied on CMS  Hasche Sigle.  Source: Financial Times

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