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France: Almunia won’t muddle in SFR mobile merger

 |  April 14, 2014

The European Commission is stepping away from reviewing the merger between French telco operator SFR and Numericable, say reports, as Commissioner Joaquin Almunia told reporters the transaction is a job for national authorities.

France’s Competition Authority will take control of the merger review despite the EU’s recent push to promote a unified approach to wireless mergers in efforts to introduce a single market. Some industry experts had reportedly expected the Commission to take over the French merger review, as the regulator had done with similar transactions in Germany and Ireland.

Germany was denied jurisdiction to review Telefonica’s buyout of E-Plus, and the Commission will review Hutchison Whampoa’s buyout of O2 Ireland.

SFR is set to be acquired by Numericable after a drawn-out bidding war for the assets; Numericable ultimately beat out Bouygues for the purchase.

Full Content: Telecompaper

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