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EU approves acquisition of E-Plus by Telefonica Deutschland

Staff writer |
The European Commission as approved the acquisition of Royal KPN NV's mobile telecommunications business E-Plus by Telefonica Deutschland Holding, a part of Telefonica S.A.

According to the EU, the approval is conditional upon the full implementation of a commitments package submitted by Telefonica.

The Commission had concerned that the merger deal, as initially notified, would have removed two close competitors and important competitive forces from the German mobile telecommunications market and that it would have further weakened the position of Mobile Virtual Network Operators or MVNOs and Service Providers to the detriment of consumers.

However, Telefonica submitted commitments to address these concerns, ensuring that new competitors will enter the mobile telecommunications market in Germany and that the position of existing competitors is strengthened. These commitments remove the Commission's concerns, the EU said.

Telefonica commits to sell, before the acquisition is completed, up to 30% of the merged company's network capacity to one or several (up to three) MVNO(s) in Germany at fixed payments. Telefonica commits to offer to divest radio wave spectrum and certain assets either to a new MNO entrant or subsequently to the MVNO(s) who will have taken up the network capacity thanks to the first part of the commitments.

Telefonica commits to extend existing wholesale agreements with Telefonica's and E-Plus' partners and to offer wholesale 4G services to all interested players in the future. In addition, Telefonica commits to improve its wholesale partners' ability to switch their customers from one MNO to another.

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