German regulator still seeking right to review O2, E-Plus merger

13 Jan 2014

Germany’s competition authority, the Federal Cartel Office (Bundeskartellamt), has sent a renewed request to review the proposed merger of Telefonica Germany (O2) and E-Plus to the European Commission (EC), the Wall Street Journal reports. In October shareholders of E-Plus’ Dutch parent Royal KPN approved the sale of its German mobile unit to Telefonica at an extraordinary general meeting, and at the end of the month Telefonica submitted a proposal to the EC seeking approval for the acquisition. Last month the European body stated that it would need to carry out an in-depth investigation of the EUR8.6 billion (USD11.6 billion) deal, rejecting an initial request from Germany to review the acquisition itself. The Bundeskartellamt has argued that the case requires an in-depth examination of whether the merger between the two mobile network operators would lead to competition problems, adding that as the merger exclusively affects the German mobile communications markets, a referral of the case to the German body ‘would be the right approach’. Commission spokesman Antoine Colombani said that the EC has until 12 February 2014 to take a decision on the referral request.

Germany, E-Plus Group, KPN, Telefonica, Telefonica Deutschland Holding