The European Commission (EC) has confirmed that it is initiating a ‘Phase II’ investigation into the proposed merger of Tele2 Netherlands (Tele2 NL) and T-Mobile Netherlands. The development was expected, in line with previous joint guidance from Tele2 and T-Mobile, and the companies anticipate the transaction will be completed during H2 2018.
A statement from Tele2 says that constructive discussions are ongoing between the two operators and the EC, and that the parties will continue to work closely to obtain clearance. The EC has 90 working days to reach a final decision on the compatibility of the transaction with EU merger rules; in principle, this implies a decision in Q4 2018.
The merger proposal was unveiled in December 2017, aiming to create a combined company representing a more competitive mobile and fixed challenger to the Netherlands’ dominant two converged telecoms groups KPN and VodafoneZiggo.