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German Regulator to Claw Back Radio Spectrum from Merged Mobile Networks

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Germany's telecoms regulator has indicated that it will claw back some of the radio spectrum held by E Plus and O2 if their planned merger is approved.

The regulator, the Bundesnetzagentur ruled that the merged networks would have an advantage over their rivals in their combined spectrum holdings, and as part of its regulatory approvals process, would require them to surrender a portion of their spectrum.

Only spectrum in the 900Mhz and 1800Mhz bands would be affected though, leaving their 2.1Ghz 3G license spectrum unaffected.

The regulator is holding a public consultation on the matter, and if approved, it would plan to reclaim the spectrum and then resell it for immediate use by rival networks as soon as the merger is completed.

The merger itself is still undecided with the European Union insisting on reviewing it, overruling the local regulators opinion that it is a matter soley for German organisations to look at.

Under the terms of the rmerger, KPN is selling its stake in E-Plus to Telefonica Deutschland for EUR5 billion, and a 20.5% stake in the merged company.

The total implied transaction valuation for E-Plus is EUR 8.55 billion.

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Tags: bundesnetzagentur  Germany