EC set to meet with Hutchison over UK merger deal?

2 Mar 2016

CK Hutchison, the owner of mobile operator Three UK, will attempt to ease European Commission (EC) concerns over its proposed GBP10.25 billion (USD14.29 billion) takeover of Telefonica’s O2 UK at a meeting on 7 March, Reuters reports, citing a person familiar with the matter. The closed-door hearing, which has been organised by the EC, will also be attended by the likes of British pay TV company Sky, Liberty Global-owned cable network operator Virgin Media, TalkTalk, Vodafone and BT, the sources said, adding that French billionaire Xavier Niel’s Iliad may also take part in the proceedings.

Earlier this year, CommsUpdate reported that British communications regulator Ofcom had urged European authorities to block the proposed merger of O2 and Three, amid concerns that the tie-up could lead to a rise in bills for consumers. The EC, which opened an in-depth investigation of the deal in October last year, is expected to make a final decision on the matter this month.

United Kingdom, CK Hutchison, Free, Hutchison 3G UK (Three UK), Iliad, O2 UK, Telefonica