Telecom & Mergers

Mergers

The EU Commission unconditionally approves proposed acquisition of joint control in the telecommunications market (Prosegur Alarmas / Telefónica / Prosegur)
DG COMP (Brussels)
Mergers: Commission approves acquisition of joint control over Prosegur Alarmas by Telefónica and Prosegur* The European Commission has approved unconditionally, under the EU Merger Regulation, the proposed acquisition of joint control over Prosegur Alarmas by Telefónica and Prosegur. The (...)

The US District Court for the Southern District of New York clears merger between top third and fourth wireless communications providers (State AGs / T-Mobile / Sprint)
Weil, Gotshal & Manges (New York)
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Weil, Gotshal & Manges (Washington)
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Weil, Gotshal & Manges (Washington)
T-Mobile’s Marathon to Acquire Sprint: Five Takeaways from the T-Mobile/Sprint Antitrust Litigation After almost two years of scrutiny by state and federal regulators and an ensuing court battle, T-Mobile US, Inc. (“T-Mobile”) is moving forward with its acquisition of Sprint Corporation (...)

The Croatian Competition Authority clears a merger in the pay television transmission services market (Slovenia Broadband / Tele2)
Croatian Competition Agency (Zagreb)
Slovenia Broadband and Tele2 merger approved* In the assessment procedure of the concentration between the undertakings Slovenia Broadband and Tele2 the CCA took into account all relevant facts, the results of the legal and economic analysis and the effects of the vertical concentration on (...)

The Belgian Competition Authority imposes interim measures suspending a joint venture for sharing the mobile radio access networks (Telenet / Orange Belgium / Proximus)
Gómez-Acebo & Pombo (Brussels)
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Gómez-Acebo & Pombo (Brussels)
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Gómez-Acebo & Pombo (Brussels)
On 22 November 2019, the Belgian companies Orange Belgium, SA/NV and Proximus, SA/NV concluded an agreement to create a joint venture for the sharing of the mobile radio access networks. However, the Telenet Group, SA/NV and Telenet, SPRL/BVBA ( jointly, ‘Telenet’) requested a deeper inquiry (...)

The Belgian Competition Authority imposes an interim measure suspending the implementation of a shareholder’s agreement and the radio access network sharing agreement in the telecommunications market (Telenet / Orange Belgium / Proximus)
Belgian Competition Authority (Brussels)
Interim measure imposed on Orange and Proximus in respect of the joint venture for the sharing of the mobile radio access networks* The Competition College of the Belgian Competition Authority (BCA) has at the request of Telenet Group NV and Telenet BVBA (Telenet) imposed on 8 January 2020 an (...)

The German Competition Authority conducts parallel investigation into potential for cartelization and merger review proceedings resulting in a conditional approval of the joint venture (Telekom / EWE)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
Telekom and EWE, two of Germany’s largest telecommunications companies, sought to form a joint venture (JV) to expand the fire-optic broadband network in north-western Germany. On 21 March 2019, the German Federal Cartel Office (FCO) launched two sets of parallel proceedings: an investigation (...)

The EU Commission clears a merger subject to remedies in the market of telecommunications and TV broadcasting (Telia / Bonnier Broadcasting)
DG COMP (Brussels)
Mergers: Commission clears Telia’s acquisition of Bonnier Broadcasting, subject to conditions* The European Commission has approved, under the EU Merger Regulation, the proposed acquisition of Bonnier Broadcasting by Telia. The approval is conditional on full compliance with a commitments (...)

The EU Commission clears subject to behavioural commitments a merger in the telecommunications sector (Telia / Bonnier Broadcasting)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 12 November 2019, the European Commission (“Commission”) conditionally cleared Telia Company’s acquisition of Bonnier Broadcasting Company after a Phase II investigation. Telia is a Swedish telecommunications company that provides fixed and mobile telecommunications, broadband and television (...)

The French Competition Authority decides to not renew remedies previously imposed to clear a merger in the telecommunications sector (SFR / Altice)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Acquisition of SFR by Altice: the Autorité de la concurrence will not renew the commitments and maintains certain injunctions* Given changes to the markets, the Autorité de la concurrence will not renew the commitments made by Altice upon acquiring SFR. However, the injunctions with penalty (...)

The Spanish Competition and Markets Authority fines company for for a merger commitment breach (Telefonica)
Gómez-Acebo & Pombo (Brussels)
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Gómez-Acebo & Pombo (Brussels)
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Gómez-Acebo & Pombo (Brussels)
The CNMC has fined Telefonica 1.5 million for breaching one of the commitments attached to its acquisition of DTS. The merger was cleared in 2015 by the CNMC on the condition that Telefonica fulfilled a number of commitments in the pay TV market. This included, among others, making (...)

The French Competition Authority closes the ex officio proceedings to verify the compliance of remedies concerning a merger in the telecom sector (Altice France / SFR)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Telecoms* The Autorité closes the ex officio proceedings it had started to ensure compliance with the commitments concerning the sale of Completel’s DSL network made by Altice France when it acquired SFR. The Autorité considers that there is no evidence to characterise Altice France’s actions (...)

The EU Commission clears a merger subject to remedies in the telecommunication market (Vodafone / Liberty Global)
DG COMP (Brussels)
Mergers: Commission clears Vodafone’s acquisition of Liberty Global’s cable business in Czechia, Germany, Hungary and Romania, subject to conditions* The European Commission has approved, under the EU Merger Regulation, the proposed acquisition by Vodafone of Liberty Global’s cable business in (...)

The EU Commission conditionally clears a merger in the cable network market in four countries (Vodafone / Liberty Global)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 18 July 2019, the European Commission (“Commission”) conditionally approved Vodafone’s acquisition of Liberty Global’s cable network business in four countries (Czechia, Germany, Hungary and Romania). In order to address competition concerns identified mainly in Germany regarding the ability of (...)

The Danish Competition Authority clears a merger subject to remedies in the market of retail provision of TV services via fibre optic infrastructure (SE / Eniig)
Danish Competition and Consumer Authority (Copenhagen)
The Danish Competition Council has approved the merger between SE a.m.b.a and Eniig a.m.b.a. subject to remedies* On 21 December 2018 the Danish Competition and Consumer Authority (hereinafter “DCCA”) received a complete notification of the merger between SE a.m.b.a. (hereinafter “SE”) and Eniig (...)

The Spanish Competition Authority investigates a possible infringement of merger commitments in the telecom sector (Telefónica)
Gómez-Acebo & Pombo (Brussels)
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Gómez-Acebo & Pombo (Brussels)
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Gómez-Acebo & Pombo (Brussels)
In 2015, the CNMC approved the acquisition of DTS by Telefónica, subject to a series of commitments relating to the pay television market. Telefónica undertook, inter alia, to make available 100% of its premium channels to third-party operators under conditions which would allow them to (...)

The OECD holds a roundtable on vertical mergers in the technology, media and telecom sector
OECD - Competition Division (Paris)
Vertical mergers are increasingly becoming a focus of attention in the antitrust sphere, due to a number of recent concentration operations among large vertically related companies in the technology, media and telecom industries. While traditionally presumed as pro-competitive, vertical mergers (...)

The EU General Court rejects a legal challenge to conditional clearance of a joint venture in the wholesale provision of premium pay-TV sports channels market (Vodafone / Liberty Global)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 23 May 2019, the General Court of the European Union (“GC”) rejected a legal challenge brought against the European Commission’s (“Commission”) conditional clearance of the Liberty Global / Vodafone joint venture in the Netherlands by rival KPN (see VBB on Competition Law, Volume 2016, No. 8). (...)

The EU Commission opens an in-depth investigation regarding a merger in the audiovisual sector (Telia / Bonnier Broadcasting)
DG COMP (Brussels)
Mergers: Commission opens in-depth investigation into Telia Company’s proposed acquisition of Bonnier Broadcasting* The European Commission has opened an in-depth investigation to assess the proposed acquisition of Bonnier Broadcasting by Telia Company under the EU Merger Regulation. The (...)

The EU Commission issues first-ever statement of objections for breaching a merger commitment in the telecommunication sector (Telefónica Deutschland)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 22 February 2019, the European Commission (“Commission”) sent a Statement of Objections to Telefónica Deutschland alleging that it breached a commitment offered in order to secure the Commission’s approval of its acquisition of E-Plus (see VBB on Competition Law, Volume 2014, No. 7). In (...)

The EU Commission sends a statement of objections to a company for alleged infringement of merger commitments (Telefónica Deutschland)
Gómez-Acebo & Pombo (Brussels)
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Gómez-Acebo & Pombo (Brussels)
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Gómez-Acebo & Pombo (Brussels)
On 22 February 2019, the Commission addressed an SoO to Telefónica Deutschland (“Telefónica”) detailing its concerns that the company may have breached one of the commitments linked to the Commission’s clearance of its acquisition of E-Plus in 2014. In particular, back then, Telefónica committed to (...)

The EU Commission alleges a telecommunication company has breached its remedies following the clearance of its merger (Telefónica Deutschland)
DG COMP (Brussels)
Mergers: Commission alleges Telefónica breached commitments given to secure clearance of E-Plus acquisition* The European Commission has sent a Statement of Objections to Telefónica Deutschland alleging the company breached commitments it offered to secure the Commission’s approval under the EU (...)

The EU Commission opens an in-depth investigation to assess a merger in telecoms and TV services market (Liberty Global / Vodafone)
DG COMP (Brussels)
Mergers: Commission opens in-depth investigation into proposed acquisition by Vodafone of Liberty Global’s business in Czechia, Germany, Hungary and Romania* The European Commission has opened an in-depth investigation to assess Vodafone’s proposed acquisition of Liberty Global’s business in (...)

The EU Commission opens an in-depth investigation concerning a merger in the Dutch retail mobile telecommunications market (Tele2 / T-Mobile)
DG COMP (Brussels)
MERGERS: COMMISSION OPENS IN-DEPTH INVESTIGATION INTO PROPOSED ACQUISITION OF TELE2 NL BY T-MOBILE NL IN THE NETHERLANDS* The European Commission has opened an in-depth investigation to assess the proposed acquisition of Tele2 NL by T-Mobile NL under the EU Merger Regulation. The Commission is (...)

The EU Commission clears for the second time a merger subject to remedies on the market for the wholesale of premium Pay TV film channels (Liberty Global / Ziggo)
DG COMP (Brussels)
Mergers: Commission confirms approval of acquisition of Dutch cable TV operator Ziggo by Liberty Global, subject to conditions* The European Commission has reapproved with conditions, under the EU Merger Regulation, the acquisition of Ziggo by Liberty Global. The merger was first approved in (...)

The EU Commission fines a multinational cable and telecommunications company for gun jumping (Altice / PT Portugal)
DG COMP (Brussels)
Mergers: Commission fines Altice €125 million for breaching EU rules and controlling PT Portugal before obtaining merger approval* The European Commission has imposed a €124.5 million fine on Altice, the multinational cable and telecommunications company based in the Netherlands, for (...)

The EU Commission publishes its decision in a gun-jumping case (Altice / PT Portugal)
Simmons & Simmons (London)
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Simmons & Simmons (London)
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Crowell & Moring (London)
On 24 April 2018, the European Commission (Commission) fined Altice NV (Altice) €124.5m for breaching both Article 4(1) and 7(1) of Council Regulation (EC) No 139/2004 (the EU Merger Regulation or EUMR). Article 4(1) EUMR contains the “notification requirement” under which relevant transactions (...)

The EU Commission imposes record €125M fine on a multinational cable and telecommunications company for gun jumping (Altice / PT Portugal)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 24 April 2018, the European Commission fined Altice, a Dutch-based telecom operator, € 125 million for procedural infringements of the EU Merger Regulation. By way of background, on 9 December 2014, Altice entered into an agreement to acquire sole control of PT Portugal. Altice notified the (...)

The EU Commission imposes a fine of €124.5 million for gun jumping to a multinational cable and telecommunications company (Altice / PT Portugal)
Rosenblatt Limited (London)
COMMISSION IMPOSES UPON DUTCH CABLE & TELCO COMPANY ALTICE A RECORD FINE OF €125 MILLION FOR GUN JUMPING UNDER THE EU MERGER REGULATION* On 24th April 2018 the European Commission announced that it had imposed a fine of €124.5 million on Altice, the multinational cable and telecommunications (...)

The EU Commission imposes a record fine of 124.5M euros for gun-jumping in relation to a merger in the telecommunications sector (Altice / PT Portugal)
McDermott Will & Emery (Brussels)
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McDermott Will & Emery (Paris)
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Norton Rose Fulbright (Brussels)
When drawing up an acquisition agreement in a transaction that will be notifiable to the EC for clearance under the EUMR, the acquirer must ensure that any veto or similar rights that it has prior to implementation of the transaction are strictly limited to that which is necessary to preserve (...)

The EU Commission conditionally approves a proposed merger in the providers of pay-TV channels market (Discovery / Scripps)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 6 February 2018, the European Commission conditionally approved the proposed acquisition of Scripps by Discovery. Both Discovery and Scripps are active primarily as providers of pay-TV channels to TV distributors in Europe. The Commission was concerned that the deal risked increasing (...)

The Indian Competition Authority approves acquisition of major IT company’s retail mobile telephony business by its telecom competitor (Airtel / Tata Teleservices)
Vaish Associates Advocates (New Delhi)
CCI approves Airtel-Tata Teleservices Deal* CCI vide its order dated November 16, 2017 has approved the acquisition of consumer mobile business or retail mobile telephony business of Tata companies by Airtel. The deal comes at a time when the telecom sector, bruised by tariff war and mounting (...)

The EU General Court orders fresh review of a merger (Liberty Global / Ziggo)
Dechert (Brussels)
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Dechert (Brussels)
The EU lower court has overturned a 2014 merger clearance by the European Commission (EC) following an appeal by a third party. Overturning the clearance does not mean that the deal is now prohibited. Instead, the case goes back to the EC, and the parties have to re-notify. At best this is (...)

The EU General Court sets aside the Commission’s approval decision of a merger in the market for television and telecommunication services (Liberty Global / Ziggo)
Giannino SI (Monserrato)
By the judgment recently rendered in the KPN/Commission case , the General Court of the EU (GC) has quashed the decision previously made by the European Commission by which it gave a conditional go-ahead to the Ziggo acquisition by Liberty Global. The appeal was filed by a competitor of the (...)

The EU General Court annuls a Commission’s conditional merger clearance in the audiovisual sector (Liberty Global / Ziggo)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 26 October 2017, the General Court annulled the European Commission’s conditional merger clearance decision in Liberty Global/Ziggo. The Commission had approved the acquisition of Ziggo by Dutch rival cable TV operator Liberty Global in 2014, subject to extensive conditions including the (...)

The French Competition Authority clears a merger in the telecommunication and media sector (SFR / Groupe News Participation)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
The Autorité de la Concurrence clears the acquisition of Groupe News Participations by SFR Group * Parties to the operation On 6 April 2017, the SFR Group notified the Autorité de la Concurrence that it was increasing its holding in Groupe News Participations (hereafter “GNP”), thus taking sole (...)

The EU Commission clears a merger subject to remedies in the telecommunication market (Telecom Italia / Vivendi)
DG COMP (Brussels)
MERGERS: COMMISSION APPROVES VIVENDI’S ACQUISITION OF TELECOM ITALIA, SUBJECT TO CONDITIONS* The European Commission has approved the acquisition of de facto control over Telecom Italia by Vivendi. The decision is conditional on the divestment of Telecom Italia’s stake in Persidera. Telecom (...)

The EU Commission conditionally approves the acquisition of a de facto sole control over a national incumbent telecommunications company, subject to remedies (Telecom Italia / Vivendi)
DG COMP (Brussels)
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DG COMP (Brussels)
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DG COMP (Brussels)
Vivendi/Telecom Italia - jurisdictional and substantive assessment of minority shareholdings* In a nutshell: The Vivendi/Telecom Italia case raised interesting issues related to minority shareholdings. In relation to jurisdiction, the transaction consisted of the acquisition of (de facto) (...)

The Indian Competition Authority unconditionally clears merger between an international and a national telecommunications company but also warns that parties must comply with DoT Merger Guidelines by the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (Bharti Airtel / Telenor)
Vaish Associates Advocates (New Delhi)
India: CCI approves combination of Bharti Airtel and Telenor* The CCI vide its order dated 30 May, 2017 has approved the amalgamation of Telenor India along with its assets, liabilities, interests and obligations with Airtel through a court driven scheme of merger. Airtel, a part of the (...)

The EU Commission alleges a telecommunication company has breached EU rules by implementing its merger before notification or approval (Altice / PT Portugal)
DG COMP (Brussels)
Mergers: Commission alleges Altice breached EU rules by early implementation of PT Portugal acquisition* The European Commission has sent a Statement of Objections alleging that multinational telecommunications company Altice (the Netherlands), breached the EU Merger Regulation by implementing (...)

The EU Commission sends a statement of objections to a company to investigate whether a merger was implemented before the Commission’s clearance (Altice / PT Portugal)
Shearman & Sterling (London)
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Reed Smith (Brussels)
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Shearman & Sterling (London)
When a transaction meets the thresholds of the EU Merger Regulation, companies must notify and obtain clearance from the European Commission before implementing the transaction. This means that until clearance is obtained, companies should continue to operate independently (including (...)

The EU Commission clears a merger subject to remedies in the identity and security solutions market (Morpho / Advent International)
DG COMP (Brussels)
MERGERS: COMMISSION CLEARS ACQUISITION OF SMART CARD MAKER MORPHO BY ADVENT INTERNATIONAL, SUBJECT TO CONDITIONS* The European Commission has cleared under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed acquisition of identity and security solutions provider Morpho, based in France, by Advent (...)

The French Competition Authority fines companies for breaching commitments on fibre optic rollout (Altice / SFR)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 9 March 2017, the French Competition Authority (“FCA”) fined Altice and SFR Group € 40 million for violating commitments entered into with the FCA at the conclusion of its review of the Altice/SFR merger in October 2014. By way of background, the commitments required Altice/ SFR to honour an (...)

The Dutch Competition Authority clears a merger in the telecommunication market (Vodafone Thuis / T-Mobile)
Netherlands Authority for Consumers & Markets (The Hague)
ACM CLEARS ACQUISITION OF VODAFONE THUIS BY T-MOBILE* Telecom provider T-Mobile is allowed to acquire the fixed-telecom division of Vodafone Netherlands. Vodafone has branded this division ‘Vodafone Thuis,’ which offers services for fixed telephony, TV, and internet. The Netherlands Authority (...)

The French Competition Authority fines €80 million a multinational telecom company for the premature completion of two mergers (Altice & SFR / OTL)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
The Autorité de la concurrence fines the Altice group 80 million euros for the premature completion of two mergers notified in 2014* The Autorité de la concurrence issued a decision today to fine jointly Altice Luxembourg and SFR Group 80 million euros, in application of Section II of Article (...)

The French Competition Authority fines €80M a group and its recently acquired subsidiaries for having coordinated their business strategies and commercial behaviour prior to merger control clearance (Alice & SFR / OTL)
Hogan Lovells (Paris)
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Grall & Associés (Paris)
This article was first published in Concurrences Review N° 2-2017, Art. N° 83875, pp. 231-239 I. Introduction In November 2016, the French Competition Authority (“FCA”) fined French-based Altice/Numericable group and its recently-acquired telecom subsidiaries SFR and Virgin Mobile France for (...)

The French Competition Authority fines companies for gun-jumping (Altice / SFR)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 8 November 2016, the French Competition Authority (FCA) fined Altice (trading as Numericable) and SFR Group € 80 million for the coordination of commercial behaviour prior to obtaining French merger control clearance. The FCA decision is ground-breaking as it imposes the highest fine ever in (...)

The French Competition Authority publishes its long awaited first decision sanctioning gun jumping practices (Altice / SFR / Virgin)
DLA Piper (Paris)
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Frieh Associés (Paris)
In its decision dated 8 November 2016, the French Competition Authority (FCA) describes with much detail its appraisal of a gun jumping infringement. Among the many lessons arising from such decision, one is clearly for future redactors of corporate documentation, another is for top management (...)

The French Competition Authority sanctions companies for implementing a transaction which has been notified to the FCA but has not yet received a clearance decision in the telecommunications industry (Alice & SFR / OTL)
United Kingdom’s Competition Authority - CMA (London)
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Franklin (Paris)
FRENCH COMPETITION AUTHORITY IMPOSES ITS FIRST EVER FINE FOR GUN-JUMPING* For the first time ever, on 8 November 2016 the French Competition Authority (FCA) sanctioned companies for implementing a transaction that had been notified to the FCA but not yet received a clearance decision, (...)

The French Competition Authority fines a major French telecommunications operator for gun-jumping (Altice)
Jones Day (Brussels)
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Jones Day (Paris)
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Jones Day (Paris)
This week, the French Competition Authority ("FCA") imposed a EUR 80 million fine on the Altice Group, a major French telecommunications operator, for implementing two transactions before approval by the FCA (so-called "gun jumping"). The full text is not yet available, but this decision (...)

The EU Commission approves a joint venture between the third and fourth-largest telecom operators in Italy subject to structural remedies (Hutchison / VimpelCom)
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (Rome)
European Commission approves a joint venture between the third and fourth largest telecom operators in Italy subject to structural remedies* On 1 September 2016 the European Commission approved a proposed joint venture between Vimpelcom and CK Hutchison, respectively the owners of Wind and H3G (...)

The EU Commission conditionally approves a joint venture in retail mobile market (Hutchinson/ VimpelCom)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 1 September 2016, the European Commission conditionally cleared the proposed creation of a telecommunications joint venture between Hutchison’s H3G and VimpelCom’s WIND, a combination of the third and fourth largest operators in the Italian retail mobile market. Before the deal, the Italian (...)

The EU Commission clears a merger, subject to remedies, in the telecommunication market and rejects a referral request issued by the Dutch competition authority (Vodafone / Liberty Global)
DG COMP (Brussels)
MERGERS: COMMISSION CLEARS VODAFONE/LIBERTY GLOBAL TELECOMS JOINT VENTURE, SUBJECT TO CONDITION; REJECTS REFERRAL REQUEST BY DUTCH COMPETITION AUTHORITY * The European Commission has cleared under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed creation of a joint venture in the Netherlands by mobile (...)

The EU Commission conditionally clears the creation of a joint venture between two mobile telecom operators (Vodafone / Liberty Global)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 3 August 2016, the European Commission conditionally cleared the creation of a joint venture between mobile telecom operator Vodafone and cable company Liberty Global in the Netherlands. The joint venture will offer unified communications services and will compete with KPN, the only other (...)

The Chinese MOFCOM releases a company from conditions previously imposed in an e-commerce merger (Wal-Mart / Yihaodian)
China Competition Bulletin (Beijing)
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University of Melbourne
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University of Melbourne
On 30 May 2016, the MOFCOM decided to release Wal-Mart from the conditions that it had imposed on Wal- Mart’s acquisition of Yihaodian in 2012. Wal-Mart had applied for release from these conditions in July 2015. When the MOFCOM conditionally approved Wal-Mart’s acquisition in 2012, the (...)

The EU Commission prohibits a merger between two telecommunication companies in the UK mobile market (Hutchison / Telefónica UK)
DG COMP (Brussels)
Mergers: Commission prohibits Hutchison’s proposed acquisition of Telefónica UK* The Commission has blocked the proposed acquisition of O2 by Hutchison under the EU Merger Regulation. It had strong concerns that UK mobile customers would have had less choice and paid higher prices as a result of (...)

The EU Commission blocks a merger between two mobile networks due to the risk of price increase on the market (Telefónica / Hutchison)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 11 May 2016, the European Commission (“Commission”) prohibited the proposed acquisition of Telefónica’s O2 by Hutchison’s Three under the EU Merger Regulation. The Commission’s primary concern was that a combined Three/ O2 would have the ability and incentive to raise prices in the UK market for (...)

The French Competition Authority fines a mobile phone company for non-compliance with some of its merger remedies (SFR / Numéricable)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Overseas Mobile Telephony* The Autorité de la concurrence fines Altice/Numericable group for non-compliance with some of the commitments linked to the divestiture of Outremer Telecom’s mobile telephony business made at the time of its acquisition of SFR. Having observed the non-compliance by (...)

The EU Commission opens an in-depth investigation pertaining to a joint venture on the market of telecommunication in Italy (Hutchison / VimpelCom)
DG COMP (Brussels)
Mergers: Commission opens in-depth investigation into proposed Hutchison/VimpelCom joint venture in Italy* The European Commission has opened an in-depth investigation to assess whether the proposed joint venture between the telecommunications activities of Hutchison and VimpelCom in Italy is (...)

The EU Commission conditionally approves a merger in the telecommunications sector (Liberty Global / BASE)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 4 February 2016, the European Commission conditionally approved the acquisition of Belgian mobile network operator (“MNO”) BASE by Liberty Global, which controls the Belgian telecommunications operator and mobile virtual network operator (“MVNO”) Telenet. Telenet has a significant position in a (...)

The EU Commission study analyzes two national telecom merger cases, and finds an associated increase in prices in the Netherlands case, but not in the Austria case (T-Mobile / Orange), (T-Mobile / tele.ring)
European Commission (Brussels)
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CRA International (Munich)
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DG COMP (Brussels)
Ex post analysis of two mobile telecom mergers: T-Mobile/tele.ring in Austria and T-Mobile/Orange in the Netherlands* In a nutshell: Ex post evaluation of merger decisions is a valuable tool for improving the understanding of markets and to assess merger control policy. To provide reliable (...)

The EU Commission pursues its in-depth investigation on a merger in the mobile telecommunications services market without referral to the UK NCA (Hutchison / Telefónica UK)
DG COMP (Brussels)
MERGERS: COMMISSION CONTINUES INVESTIGATION OF HUTCHISON 3G / TELEFÓNICA UK MERGER WITHOUT REFERRAL TO UK* Commission does not refer investigation of Hutchison/Telefónica UK merger to UK The European Commission has decided not to refer the planned acquisition of Telefónica UKby Hutchison to the (...)

The EU Commission opens an in-depth investigation concerning a merger in the mobile telecommunications market (Hutchison / Telefónica UK)
DG COMP (Brussels)
MERGERS: COMMISSION OPENDS IN-DEPTH INVESTIGATION INTO HUTCHISON’S PROPOSED ACQUISIITON OF TELEFÓNICA UK* The European Commission will investigate in-depth Hutchison’s takeover of Telefónica UK. The European Commission has opened an in-depth investigation under the EU Merger Regulation to assess (...)

The French Competition Authority clears an acquisition in the overseas’s mobile telecom market (Iliad / Hiridjee)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
THE AUTORITÉ DE LA CONCURRENCE CLEARS THE ACQUISITION OF JOINT CONTROL OF OUTREMER TELECOM’S MOBILE ACTIVITIES BY ILIAD ALONGSIDE HIRIDJEE* The Autorité de la concurrence has reviewed the acquisition by Iliad of 50% of the capital of the company Telecom Reunion Mayotte, which will henceforth be (...)

The French Competition Authority opens ex officio proceedings to review whether a internet provider has respected its merger remedies (SFR / Bouygues Telecom)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
SFR/Bouygues Telecom agreement to deploy fibre in very densely populated areas* Following a complaint made by Bouygues Telecom, the Autorité de la concurrence has opened ex officio proceedings to review the conditions under which Numericable complies with its commitments made in relation to the (...)

The EU Commission opens an in-depth investigation regarding a takeover in the mobile phone retail market (Liberty Global / BASE)
DG COMP (Brussels)
MERGERS: COMMISSION OPENS IN-DEPTH INVESTIGATION INTO PROPOSED ACQUISITION OF BASE BELGIUM BY LIBERTY GLOBAL* The European Commission will investigate in-depth the Liberty Global/BASE Belgium takeover. The European Commission has opened an in-depth investigation under the EU Merger Regulation (...)

The Chinese MOFCOM fines several undertakings for breaches of merger notification rules (FJEI / FPID) (Nanjing Puzhen / Bombardier Sweden) (BestTv / Microsoft)
AnJie Law (Beijing)
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AnJie Law (Beijing)
Warning from MOFCOM: Second Wave of Penalties Imposed for Breaches of Concentration Notification Rules* On September 29th 2015, the Ministry of Commerce of the P.R.C (“MOFCOM”) published four administrative decisions on penalties for illegal activities involved in the concentration of (...)

The EU Commission clears a merger beetwen two mobile network equipment manufacturers (Nokia / Alcatel-Lucent)
DG COMP (Brussels)
MERGERS: COMMISSION APPROVES NOKIA’S ACQUISITION OF ALCATEL-LUCENT* The European Commission has approved under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed acquisition of Alcatel-Lucent by Nokia. Both companies are global providers of telecommunications equipment and related services. The Commission (...)

The French Competition Authority approves the sale of an oversea telecom company, a mandatory condition to clear a merger in the market of mobile telephony (SFR / Numéricable)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Acquisition of SFR by Numericable: France’s Competition authority and ARCEP approve the sale to the firm Hiridjee of the Outremer Telecom mobile operations that Numericable agreed to divest in La Réunion and Mayotte* On 30 October 2014, the Autorité de la concurrence approved the sale of SFR to (...)

The UK Competition and Markets Authority accepts to proceed with a fast track reference of the merger to phase 2 concerning a merger involving the largest suppliers of fixed communications services and mobile communications services (BT / EE)
United Kingdom’s Competition Authority - CMA (London)
BT/EE merger fast-tracked to phase 2 investigation* The CMA has today referred BT Group plc’s anticipated acquisition of EE Limited for an in-depth phase 2 investigation. BT and EE are, respectively, the largest suppliers of fixed communications services and mobile communications services in (...)

The EU Commission approves an acquisition in the telecommunications sector after a lengthy Phase II investigation and subject to extensive commitments (Orange / Jazztel)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 19 May 2015, the European Commission conditionally approved the acquisition of Jazztel by rival telecommunications provider Orange. The approval, after a lengthy Phase II investigation including a Statement of Objections issued in February, is subject to extensive commitments to facilitate a (...)

The EU Commission clears an international telecom’s merger subject to conditions of another national telecom (Orange / Jazztel)
European Commission (Brussels)
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DG COMP (Brussels)
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DG COMP (Brussels)
Orange/Jazztel: Convergence meets Consolidation in the Spanish Telecoms Sector* In a nutshell: The Orange/Jazztel transaction takes place in a market that tipped toward fixed-mobile multiple play offers. The forward-looking analysis included an assessment of the parties’ likely future roll-out (...)

The EU Commission clears a merger subject to remedies in the retail markets involving fixed internet access services (Orange / Jazztel)
DG COMP (Brussels)
Commission clears acquisition of Jazztel by Orange, subject to conditions* The European Commission has approved under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed acquisition of Jazztel plc, a telecommunications company registered in the UK but mainly active in Spain, by rival Orange SA of France. (...)

The Spanish Competition Authority clears the acquisition of the first national pay-tv provider by a direct competitor (Telefónica / DTS)
Linklaters (Madrid)
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Linklaters (Madrid)
1 Introduction On 22 April 2015, seven months after it was notified of the incumbent telecoms operator Telefónica’s acquisition of sole control of Distribuidora de Televisión Digital, S.A. (“DTS”), the National Markets and Competition Authority (“CNMC”) cleared the deal subject to commitments . (...)

The Finnish Competition Authority clears a merger subject to remedies in the telephone and data communications services markets (Elisa Oyj / Anvia Oyj)
Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority (Helsinki)
THE FINNISH COMPETITION AND CONSUMER AUTHORITY (FCCA) GIVES CONDITIONAL ACCEPTANCE OF ACQUISITION OF ANVIA BY ELISA* The FCCA has today accepted conditionally the transaction whereby Elisa Oyj will gain control over Anvia Oyj. The conditions relate to broadband services on a landline network (...)

The Italian Competition Authority opens Phase II proceedings on hostile takeover bid over 100% (EI Towers / Rai Way)
Bonelli Erede (Rome)
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Bonelli Erede (Rome)
In its decision of 10 March 2015, the Italian Competition Authority (the “ICA” or the “Authority”) decided to open Phase II proceedings in relation to the merger notified on 25 February consisting of EI Towers S.p.A.’s (“EI Towers”) hostile takeover bid over 100% of Rai Way S.p.A.’s (“Rai Way” (...)

The Norwegian Competition Authority conditionally clears a three-to-two merger in the telecom sector (TeliaSonera / Tele2 Norge)
Haavind (Oslo)
Commitments Package Saved 3-to-2 Mobile Merger* In February 2015 TeliaSonera, the Finnish-Swedish telecoms player, was given a green light to take over Tele2’s mobile operations in Norway. The Norwegian Competition Authority had voiced significant concerns over the deal, signalling that (...)

The French Competition Authority opens ex officio proceedings to review the conditions under which a phone carrier complies with commitments (SFR / Numéricable)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Acquisition of SFR by Numericable.* The Autorité de la concurrence opens ex officio proceedings to review the conditions under which Numericable complies with its commitment to divest Outremer Telecom’s mobile telephony activities in La Réunion and Mayotte. On 30 October 2014, the Autorité de la (...)

The French Competition Authority clears, subject to remedies, a merger in the mobile virtual networks market (Virgin Mobile / Numericable)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
The Autorité de la concurrence clears Virgin Mobile’s acquisition by Numericable* The Autorité de la concurrence has cleared the acquisition of Omer Telecom Limited (“OTL”) by Numericable. OTL is a virtual mobile phone operator operating under the Virgin Mobile brand. This decision takes place (...)

The Ukranian Antimonopoly Committee intends to reconsider its decision granting merger clearance on the telecommunication technologies market (Kyivstar)
Arzinger (Kiev)
Antitrust authority of Ukraine intends to reconsider its decision granting merger clearance on the telecommunication technologies market of Ukraine* In early November 2014 the Antimonopoly Committee of Ukraine made a statement, announcing that it was going to reconsider its position on the (...)

The French Competition Authority clears, subject to remedies, an acquisition in the high-speed broadband access market (SFR / Numéricable)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
The Autorité de la concurrence gives conditional clearance to the acquisition of SFR by Numericable, an Altice subsidiary. * Among the commitments discussed and negotiated with the Autorité de la concurrence, Numericable commits to give competitors (internet service providers, MVNO) access to (...)

The French Competition Authority clears the takeover of a mobile phone operator subject to structural and behavioural commitments (SFR / Numéricable)
Herbert Smith Freehills (Paris)
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Herbert Smith Freehills (Paris)
Introduction On 30 October 2014, following an in-depth review, the French Competition Authority (the "FCA") authorised the takeover of the mobile phone operator SFR by Numericable Group, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Altice. Before the transaction, SFR was wholly owned by the Vivendi group; (...)

The EU Commission unconditionally approves in first phase an acquisition in the digital sector (Facebook / WhatsApp)
DG COMP (Brussels)
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European Commission (Brussels)
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European Commission - Legal Service (Brussels)
"What’s Up with Merger Control in the Digital Sector? Lessons from the Facebook/WhatsApp EU merger case"* The Facebook/WhatsApp decision provides an insight into how the Commission tackles novel issues in the application of merger control rules to the digital sector, in particular to free (...)

The EU Commission approves without commitments an acquisition in the information technology sector (Facebook / WhatsApp)
Squire Patton Boggs (Brussels)
EU Commission approves Facebook’s acquisition of WhatsApp* On 3 October 2014, the European Commission of the European Union (the “Commission”) approved the acquisition without any commitments. After the approval of the acquisition of Skype by Microsoft in 2011 and of the acquisition of Nokia by (...)

The EU Commission unconditionally clears an acquisition in the social media sector (Facebook / WhatsApp)
Ramón y Cajal (Madrid)
Background information On 3 October 2014 the European Commission ("Commission") unconditionally clears in first phase the €14 billion acquisition of WhatsApp by Facebook (the “Transaction”). The Transaction was already conditionally authorized in April 2014 by the US Federal Trade Commission (...)

The Canadian Competition Bureau continues to watch over the telecommunication market (Eastlink / Bruce Telecom)
Stikeman Elliott (Ottawa)
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Stikeman Elliott (Ottawa)
Eastlink and Bruce Telecom abandon $26.5M merger amid Competition Bureau concerns* On August 15, 2014, the Competition Bureau (the Bureau) announced that Bragg Communications Inc. (Eastlink) and Bruce Telecom had terminated an announced merger, which would have resulted in the acquisition of (...)

The French Competition Authority opens in-depth investigation on an acquisition in the telecom market (Altice Group / SFR)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
The Autorité de la concurrence has decided to open an in-depth investigation into the acquisition of SFR by the Altice Group* On 4 June 2014, the Numericable Group, a subsidiary of the Altice Group, filed a merger notification to the Autorité de la Concurrence relating to its plan to acquire SFR (...)

The Cypriot Commission for the Protection of Competition receives notification of a merger on the telecommunication market (GO / Cablenet Communication Systems)
Commission for the Protection of Competition of the Republic of Cyprus (Nicosia)
Press Release published on the official website of the Cypriot Commission for the Protection of Competition. Notification concerning the acquisition of share capital of Cablenet Communication Systems Ltd by GO Plc.* The Service of the Commission for the Protection of Competition received, (...)

The Italian Administrative Court of first instance orders the recommencement of the awarding of a public selection procedure for a breach of disclosure duty in the telecommunications sector (Telecom Italia / Fastweb / Vitrociset / Consip)
University of London - School of Economics Birkbeck College
On the 13th of May 2014, the Italian Administrative Court of first instance (the “Court”) held a judgment against a Joint-venture that is formed between Fastweb S.p.A. (“Fastweb”) and Vitrociset S.p.A. (“Vitrociset”) for a breach of disclosure duties relating to technical specifications. (...)

The Netherlands Competition Authority finds that the proposed acquisition may lead to restrictions for other companies on the use of the fiber-optic cable network (KPN / Reggefiber)
Netherlands Authority for Consumers & Markets (The Hague)
Further investigation needed into planned acquisition of Reggefiber by KPN* The Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) will launch a more detailed investigation into the planned acquisition of Dutch fiber-optic company Reggefiber by Dutch telecom provider KPN. In 2008, ACM (...)

The South African Competition Commission awaits notification of a merger in the telecom sector (Vodacome / Neotel)
Primerio (Washington)
Telecom adversaries to remain “principled” in their competing bids for 4G spectrum* The telecoms are at it again, and MTN and Vodacom find themselves close together once more. Last October, we reported on their being jointly targeted by competitor Cell C for predatory “on-net” pricing. Today, (...)

The Cypriot Commission for the Protection of Competition receives notification of a merger in the telecommunication sector (Rocket Internet Germany / MTN Dubai)
Commission for the Protection of Competition of the Republic of Cyprus (Nicosia)
Notification of concentration regarding the acquisition of share capital of Middle East Internet Holding S.a.r.l. by MTN (Dubai) Ltd* The Service of the Commission for the Protection of Competition received on behalf of Rocket Internet GmbH and MTN (Dubai) Ltd notification of a proposed (...)

The Cypriot Commission for the Protection of Competition receives notification of an international acquisition in the telecom sector (Africa Internet / Millicom)
Commission for the Protection of Competition of the Republic of Cyprus (Nicosia)
Notification of a concentration concerning the joint acquisition of the share capital of Africa Internet Holding GmbH by Mobile Telephone Networks Holdings (Pty) Ltd, Millicom International Cellular S.A. and Rocket Internet Holding GmbH* The Commission for the Protection of Competition (...)

The French Competition Authority clears an acquisition of sole control in the telecommunications sector (SFR / Numéricable)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Press release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. The Autorité de la concurrence clears the acquisition of Numéricâble by Altice, its minority shareholder* The Autorité de la concurrence has cleared the acquisition of the Numéricâble group, a cable network (...)

The EU General Court confirms that two big tech companies parties to a merger are not dominant in the internet visual communications market and rejects interoperability issues raised by appellants (Microsoft / Skype)
Ashurst (Milan)
EU Court upholds the Commission’s decision on the Microsoft/Skype deal* On 11 December 2013 the EU’s General Court (the “Court”) handed down its ruling concerning Microsoft’s acquisition of Skype. The Court held that the Commission rightly considered that the transaction does not restrict (...)

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