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European Union Delays Decision on Two Telecoms Mergers

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The European Union's competition authority is extending the time it is taking to review the planned merger of two of Germany's mobile networks to allow them time to offer regulatory concessions.

The merger between Telefonica O2's majority owned German subsidiary and KPN's E-Plus network would see the local market reduce to three mobile networks, which has drawn concern from the EU regulators about a lack of competition in the market.

"The deadline in the Telefónica/E-Plus merger case has been extended by 10 working days in agreement with the parties," Antoine Colombani, the European Commission's spokesman for competition policy told the Reuters news agency.

The deadline has now been set at May 28th, after which the EU will make a decision.

The German telecoms regulator has separately said it will claw back some of the merged company's older radio spectrum and resell it if the merger goes ahead.

In related news, the EU also delayed making a decision on plans by Telefonica to sell its Irish O2 network to Hutchison Whampoa's Three subsidiary.

It has paused its deliberations until the two companies offer more options to resolve concerns about the reduction of competition in the local market.

On the web: Reuters - Bloomberg

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Tags: o2  three  r-plus  kpn  Germany  Ireland