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TELIA - Telia AB News Story

SEK36.64 0.1  0.3%

Last Trade - 14/05/21

Sector
Telecoms
Size
Large Cap
Market Cap £12.76bn
Enterprise Value £21.14bn
Revenue £7.54bn
Position in Universe 55th / 1832

EU antitrust chief wary about market power of merging telcos

Fri 7th March, 2014 1:15pm
* EU antitrust chief to decide on 2 telecoms merger deals in May * Telecoms sector wants antitrust rules to evolve with market By Foo Yun Chee AMSTERDAM, March 7 (Reuters) - Europe's antitrust chief Joaquin Almunia, whose approval is required for Telefonica's TEF.MC  two merger deals in Germany and Ireland, said on Friday that he was wary about the growing market power of fewer but larger telecoms operators. Almunia's concerns came as Deutsche Telekom  DTEGn.DE , Orange  ORAN.PA , Vodafone  VOD.L , Telecom Italia  TLIT.MI  and other providers urged EU Telecoms Commissioner Neelie Kroes to help simplify merger rules and those related to spectrum sales. The sector has pinned some of the blame for low investments in faster 4G and fibre broadband on tough EU merger rules which they say hinder the creation of large players which can plough money into such projects. "The industry says it needs to consolidate to invest in the next-generation networks. However, allowing fewer, larger players in individual EU countries would just reinforce market power at that level," Almunia said in a speech during a visit to Cape Town, South Africa, which was released by his office. He said any mergers between telecoms companies would be assessed in terms of the impact on domestic markets rather than on a pan-European scale because of the cross-border barriers in the 28-country European Union. Almunia will decide by May 19 whether to clear Hutchison Whampoa  0013.HK  to acquire Telefonica's 02 Ireland subsidiary after the Hong Kong-based conglomerate offered concessions. The Commission has set a preliminary deadline of May 14 to decide on Telefonica's bid for KPN's  KPN.AS  E-Plus unit in Germany. This could be extended if the Spanish operator submits concessions. In their letter to Kroes, the telecoms companies said EU antitrust rules should evolve "to support market-driven restructuring" and that the sale of valuable spectrum by governments should be revamped. Signatories of the letter included chief executives from Telefonica, Telekom Austria  TELA.VI , Sweden's TeliaSonera TLSN.ST , Russian company Vimpelcom  VIP.O  and Hutchison Whampoa's deputy chairman. Kroes' spokesman Ryan Heath said: "We agree on the need to complete the telecoms single market. There is widespread agreement on the damage caused by Europe's fragmented markets." (Reporting by Foo Yun Chee; Editing by Susan Fenton) ((foo.yunchee@thomsonreuters.com)(+32 2 287 6844)(Reuters Messaging: foo.yunchee.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: EU ANTITRUST/TELECOMS
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