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EU Probes Orange, Masmovil’s Spanish Deal

 |  April 3, 2023

The European Union’s antitrust regulators have initiated a thorough investigation into the proposed merger between Orange and MasMovil, which is worth 18.6 billion euros ($20 billion), citing concerns that it could lead to reduced competition in the Spanish telecommunications industry.

The case is being viewed as a means to determine if the European Commission will maintain its firm position on consolidation within the telecoms industry or if it will adopt a more lenient stance.

Related: EU Raises Concerns Over Spanish Orange, MasMovil Spanish Deal

In July 2022, Orange, the second largest telecoms provider in Spain, and fourth-ranked MasMovil announced a deal, which has led to predictions of further mergers in the industry.

The EU competition enforcer, however, said it had major concerns about the proposed deal.

“The transaction would reduce the number of network operators in Spain, thereby eliminating an innovative and significant rival. This could lead to higher prices and lower quality of telecom services for customers,” the Commission said in a statement.

“As a result of the transaction, Orange and MasMovil would have the ability and incentive to restrict access of virtual operators to the wholesale mobile network and wholesale fixed network access services,” it said.