EU confirms suspension of its examination of Orange-Jazztel deal

20 Mar 2015

A final decision on Orange Group’s proposed acquisition of alternative Spanish broadband provider Jazztel has been further delayed, with the European Union (EU) revealing it has, for a second time, halted its antitrust probe into the deal.

According to the Wall Street Journal, a spokeswoman for the EU’s new antitrust chief, Margrethe Vestager, confirmed that the ‘the clock has been stopped’ on the Orange-Jazztel deal since 4 March, adding: ‘Information is missing from the file that we require before resuming the investigation.’ For its part, France-based Orange Group was cited as saying that it remained committed to continuing its discussions with the European Commission (EC) during the suspension period, with a spokesman for that company saying: ‘Orange remains confident that it will secure a positive outcome to this process but cannot elaborate further at this stage.’

As noted in TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, a minor delay had previously been announced in late-January 2015, with EU antitrust regulators at that date confirming the deadline for a decision had been pushed back to 30 April 2015; the delay was due to the EC halting its probe on 14 January, at which date it reportedly sent a list of as many as 60 questions to Orange Group regarding the planned deal, saying these needed to be answered before it could continue to examine the matter. With the French outfit having subsequently submitted its responses, the EC’s consideration of the planned acquisition was then able to continue.

Spain, Jazztel, Orange Espana (incl. Jazztel), Orange Group