Spanish Regulator Approves Masmovil’s €2B Takeover

Spain’s competition regulator has given its first phase approval to the takeover of telecom operator Euskaltel by rival Masmovil Ibercom.

The regulator stated in a Wednesday, June 17, filing that the deal doesn’t pose a significant threat to competition in the southern European country. Masmovil is the fourth-ranked telecoms operator in Spain, while Euskaltel is ranked fifth.

The all-share takeover bid worth €2 billion (US$2.40 billion) was announced late March.

MásMóvil is the fourth-ranked telco in Spain. It mainly provides fixed telephony, mobile, and broadband Internet services to residential customers or companies in Spain through its main brands: Yoigo, MásMóvil, Pepephone, Llamaya, Lebara, Ocean, and Lycamobile.

Euskaltel is Spain’s fifth-ranked telco. It has a strong presence in Asturias, Galicia, and the Basque Country where it has deployed its own fixed cable network with a wide coverage and in which it develops its activities through its brands, Telecable, R Cable, and Euskaltel. It has recently expanded its activities to the rest of Spain through the Virgin Telco brand.

The CNMC considers that the operation does not significantly alter the competitive situation. At the national level, MásMóvil strengthens its position as the fourth operator in the retail markets; the presence of Euskaltel was still limited, so the addition of quotas will not be very significant. In the case of Asturias, Galicia, and the Basque Country, where Euskaltel has an important market share in the retail field and a strategy that presents differential aspects with respect to MásMóvil, there are other significant operators that will continue to exert competitive pressure.