EU and Hutchison confirm progress regarding H3G, Orange merger

24 Aug 2012

Hong Kong conglomerate Hutchison Whampoa and European Union (EU) regulators have agreed the basic principles of a competition concession that would allow Hutchison’s Austrian mobile unit H3G to take over its larger rival Orange Austria, Reuters reports. H3G has proposed opening up its mobile network to third parties as a way of encouraging new players to enter the market if it succeeds in its EUR1.4 billion (USD1.87 billion) deal to buy Orange, which would cut the number of wireless operators in Austria from four to three. Citing a statement released by Hutchison, Reuters quotes the conglomerate as saying: ‘3 cannot reveal any details at the moment because the process is still ongoing and confidential, but can confirm that a model has been basically agreed with the commission, and is now being tested in the market’. Further, Hutchison is believed to have signed a memorandum of understanding to open up its network to an operator already active within the Austrian telecoms sector. Sources familiar with the matter have told Reuters that this company is Liberty Global-owned cable operator UPC Austria.

Austria, Hutchison Drei Austria, Orange Austria