Optimus-TMN merger proposal to be approved ‘with conditions’, newspaper reports

3 Aug 2006

Portugese telecoms group Sonaecom’s proposal to merge Portugal Telecom’s mobile arm TMN with Sonaecom’s wireless unit Optimus will be approved by the Competition Authority with certain conditions, reports Forbes quoting local newspaper Jornal de Negocios. The integration of the two businesses is a condition of the alternative operator going ahead with its EUR10.7 billion bid for Portugal Telecom. Objections to the plan centre on the fact that it would leave Vodafone as the country’s only other competing mobile network, but Sonaecom hopes to offset this by supporting the launch of MVNO service providers. It signed one MVNO deal in July, with UK-based Carphone Warehouse’s TalkTalk, and another MVNO firm, Euphony, has said it expects to sign a contract with Sonaecom soon. Publico, a newspaper owned by Sonaecom, said it has learned that the company could withdraw its bid altogether if Portugal Telecom proposes new anti-takeover measures. Sonaecom is also seeking to buy out the incumbent’s majority-owned cable subsidiary PT Multimedia, lifting the total cost of the bid to EUR13.9 billion.