Mergers: Commission opens in-depth investigation into Orange’s proposed acquisition of Jazztel


The European Commission has opened an in-depth investigation to assess whether the proposed acquisition of Jazztel p.l.c., a telecommunications company registered in the United Kingdom but mainly active in Spain, by rival Orange S.A. of France is in line with the EU Merger Regulation. In Spain, Orange operates mobile and fixed telecommunications networks while Jazztel operates a fixed telecommunications network and offers mobile telecommunications services on Orange’s network. The proposed transaction would reduce the number of nationwide providers of fixed telecommunications services in Spain from four to three. While the merged entity would not be in a dominant position, the Commission has concerns that the proposed transaction may lead to a significant loss of competitive pressure for fixed Internet access services and fixed-mobile multiple play offers. The loss of Jazztel as an important competitive force could lead to price increases for these services for customers in Spain. The opening of an in-depth investigation does not prejudge the outcome of the investigation. The Commission now has 90 working days, until 24 April 2015, to take a decision. Here to read more.

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