CMA refers Cellnex and CK Hutchison’s tower deal for in-depth investigation

28 Jul 2021

British antitrust watchdog the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has announced that is has referred the proposed acquisition of the passive infrastructure assets of CK Hutchison Holdings Limited and its subsidiaries in the UK by Cellnex UK Limited for a full investigation.

As previously reported by CommsUpdate, in November 2020 Spain-based mobile tower firm Cellnex Telecom confirmed an agreement to acquire 24,600 towers from CK Hutchison in the UK, Italy, Ireland, Austria, Sweden and Denmark. At the time it was noted that the EUR10 billion (USD11.8 billion) deal would be augmented by a EUR1.4 billion rollout of 5,250 new sites over the next eight years, while Cellnex and CK Hutchison would sign long-term service contracts for an initial period of 15 years, extendable for an additional 15 years.

Now, the CMA has said it has decided to probe the proposed deal further, ‘on the basis that, on the information currently available to it, it is or may be the case that this merger has resulted or may be expected to result in a substantial lessening of competition within a market or markets in the United Kingdom’.