A PYMNTS Company

EU: EC concerned over Hutchison’s Italy move

 |  February 15, 2016

EU antitrust regulators have flagged concerns about possible price hikes if CK Hutchison Holdings’ Italian unit merges with a Vimpelcom unit, cutting Italy’s mobile network operators from four to three.

The proposed combination of Hutchison’s 3 Italia SpA and Vimpelcom’s WIND Telecommunicazioni will create a player broadly equal to Telecom Italia and Vodafone.

Competition regulators fear such a reduction could drive up prices for phone users as Hutchison’s telecoms units in Europe are often seen as undercutting rivals to grab market share.

“In your view, would the transaction have an impact on the aggressiveness of the combined H3G/WIND entity on the Italian retail mobile telecommunications market or some of its segments (compared to the aggressiveness of H3G and of WIND without the transaction)?” the Commission asked in a questionnaire.

The EU competition watchdog also asked Hutchison’s rivals if the combined entity would have an incentive to roll out a newer and faster fourth-generation mobile network, an argument cited by the companies for the merger.

Full content: Reuters

Want more news? Subscribe to CPI’s free daily newsletter for more headlines and updates on antitrust developments around the world.