European Commission (EC) regulators have cleared the full acquisition of Italian fixed and mobile operator Wind Tre by 50% shareholder Hong Kong-based CK Hutchison. Hutchison is buying out joint venture partner VEON in a EUR2.45 billion (USD2.9 billion) deal first announced in July this year. Italian regulators have already approved the transaction, with the parties saying the buyout is expected to be finalised within the coming days.
Hutchison has agreed to stick to conditions imposed on Wind Tre when it was created from the merger of Wind Telecomunicazioni and 3 Italia at the end of 2016. The Commission concluded that the new transaction did not alter the competitive situation in Italian telecoms markets and said that no additional competition concerns had been identified.
European Commissioner for Competition Margarethe Vestager said in a statement: ‘Today’s decision confirms that the structural remedies accepted by the Commission in order to clear the creation of Wind Tre in 2016 were effective. They have not only preserved but also incentivised competition in the mobile telecommunications market in Italy. It is important to ensure full implementation of those remedies so that Italian consumers can continue to enjoy high quality mobile services at fair prices.’