EU Starts Antitrust Probe Of $1B Telefonica-Hutchison Deal

Law360, New York (November 6, 2013, 3:54 PM EST) -- The European Commission launched an in-depth antitrust investigation into Telefonica SA's proposed €850 million ($1.1 billion) sale of its Irish business to Hutchison Whampoa Ltd., suspecting the deal could substantially reduce competition among Ireland’s wireless providers and lead to price hikes, the agency said Wednesday.

The would-be deal calls for the merger of Hutchison's Three Ireland and Telefonica's O2 — two of Ireland's four mobile communications providers — forming a player nearly the same size as Vodafone Plc, the largest operator, and increasing the likelihood that...
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