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EU: Antitrust regulators approve CK Hutchison and VimpelCom

 |  September 1, 2016

CK Hutchison Holdings and VimpelCom won European Union approval for a merger creating Italy’s largest wireless provider after they agreed to help a smaller rival, Iliad SA, become the country’s fourth mobile carrier.

The companies got green light only after delivering “a remedy” to the EU’s concerns about reduced rivalry, Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said at a media conference in Brussels Thursday.

“We could not have allowed this transaction to go ahead as originally notified to us,” Vestager said.

A merger in Italy, billionaire Li Ka-shing’s second-largest wireless market in Europe behind the UK will help his company, Hutchison, take on rivals Telecom Italia SpA and Vodafone Group Plc’s local unit. Iliad, which agreed to acquire assets from the merging entities in July, is known for its low-cost offerings and is set to intensify rivalry further.

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