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EU Raises Concerns Over Spanish Orange, MasMovil Spanish Deal

 |  March 8, 2023

Orange and MasMovil’s $19 billion Spanish telecoms merger has been met with a full-scale EU antitrust investigation, according to three people familiar with the matter. This is seen as a test of whether European regulators will consider relaxing their view on deals within this sector.

The merger between Spain’s second and fourth largest telecoms companies is the first significant transaction since the European Commission prohibited CK Hutchison’s $12.6 billion acquisition of Telefonica’s O2 mobile unit in Britain in 2016.

It comes as the Commission’s industry chief Thierry Breton urges a regulatory rethink on cross-border telecoms deals.

Related: EU Regulators To Decide On Orange’s MasMovil Bid Next Month

The EU competition enforcer said its preliminary investigation was ongoing. Orange declined to comment.

The Commission will open a so-called in-depth probe following the end of its preliminary review on April 3, the people said, adding that MasMovil would likely have to offer remedies to secure the green light.