The EU General Court annuls the Commission’s decision prohibiting the acquisition of two telecommunication companies (Telefónica UK / Hutchison 3G UK)

1. Summary On 28 May 2020, the EU General Court handed down a ruling annulling the European Commission’s (“Commission”) decision prohibiting the proposed acquisition of Telefónica UK (“O2”) by Hutchison 3G UK (“Three”). The ruling has potentially significant implications for mergers in the telecoms sector, as well as for EU merger control more broadly. In particular, the General Court has provided important guidance as to how the Commission should apply the “significant impediment to effective competition” (“SIEC”) standard when evaluating mergers that do not create or strengthen a dominant player in an oligopolistic market. 2. The Commission decision In 2016, the Commission analysed a proposed merger between Three and O2, two of the network operators active on the mobile telephony retail

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  • Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
  • Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
  • Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)

Quotation

William Haig, Porter Elliott, Catherine Gordley, The EU General Court annuls the Commission’s decision prohibiting the acquisition of two telecommunication companies (Telefónica UK / Hutchison 3G UK), 28 May 2020, e-Competitions May 2020, Art. N° 95621

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