Acquisition of Tele2 by T-Mobile in the Netherlands under in-depth investigation
The Commission is concerned that the merger could lead to higher prices, and reduce choice and innovation for customers in the Netherlands.
The proposed transaction would combine Deutsche Telekom's subsidiary T-Mobile NL with Tele2's subsidiary Tele2 NL, respectively the third and fourth largest operators in the Dutch retail mobile telecommunications market.
This would reduce the number of mobile network operators in the Netherlands from four to three. The merged entity would be the third largest player on the Dutch market after KPN and VodafoneZiggo.
The Commission will now carry out an in-depth investigation into the effects of the transaction to determine whether its initial competition concerns are confirmed.
The Commission will in particular assess: the extent to which the parties are close competitors, the potential response of the merged entity's competitors, and investigate the importance of fixed/mobile bundles in the Netherlands.
The transaction was notified to the Commission on 2 May 2018. The Commission now has 90 working days, until 17 October 2018, to take a decision. The opening of an in-depth investigation does not prejudge the outcome of the investigation. ■