EU Regulators Fight Court Defeat Over Hutchison-O2 Merger Deal

European Union regulators are challenging an EU court’s decision to topple their veto of CK Hutchison Holdings’s bid for rival O2, a ruling that could make it easier to get telecom deals past merger watchdogs, reported Bloomberg.

The EU General Court’s ruling from May “raises important legal issues” including on the standard of proof and the value of the European Commission’s economic assessment, Arianna Podesta, a spokeswoman on antitrust matters, told reporters in Brussels on Wednesday, July 29. 

The ruling was a rare setback for the EU competition enforcer, raising hopes in the telecoms industry of a looser rein on mergers aimed at sharing costly 5G investments.

The Commission stated on Wednesday that it would appeal the judgment at the EU Court of Justice (CJEU).

“The General Court’s judgement raised important legal issues, such as the legal test for ‘gap’ cases, the role of efficiencies, the standard of proof, the value of the Commission’s economic assessment and the boundaries of the General Court’s judicial control,” spokeswoman Arianna Podesta said.

Gap cases refer to mergers which raise concerns even though the companies are not dominant. 

“The Commission respectfully considers that on these issues the General Court made a number of errors of law and is asking the European Court of Justice to set aside the General Court’s judgment in that respect,” Podesta said.

Full Content: Bloomberg

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