Germany: Commission approaching E-Plus, Telefonica blessing

Three sources told reporters Friday that the European Commission is closing in on offering formal approval for Spain-based Telefonica to acquire Germany’s E-Plus, reports say.

The $11.7 billion takeover would reduce the number of operators in Germany from four to three. Experts have been eyeing the Commission’s review of the merger closely as they believe it will hint at a broader attitude by EU authorities towards wireless consolidation.

If the sources are correct, it would be the latest major wireless merger approved by the Commission; the regulator last week cleared O2 Ireland to be acquired by Hutchison Whampoa.

Telefonica has reportedly agreed to release nearly one-third of its total spectrum after the merger to a mobile virtual network operator to remedy competition concerns, according to reports.

Full content: Wall Street Journal

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