Vodafone Portugal against an Optimus-TMN merger

21 Mar 2006

Vodafone Portugal has spoken out against the possibility of a merger between Sonae’s mobile unit Optimus and Portugal Telecom (PT)’s wireless arm TMN. Portuguese utility group Sonae launched a hostile EUR11.1 billion bid for PT last month. One of the conditions for the merger to proceed would be the authorisation to merge Optimus and TMN. Vodafone stated: ‘The bid for PT by Sonae could create or reinforce a dominant position from which could result significant barriers to competition in the mobile market.’ PT’s board, which has opposed Sonae’s bid as undervalued, also argued that the merger would harm competition, as it would reduce the number of mobile companies in Portugal from three to two, with TMN/Optimus controlling around 65% of the market.