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France: Competitive SFR merger review to take months

 |  March 10, 2014

Authorities told reporters that it could take up to nine months to complete the merger review of telco SFR while rivals clash to win the bid.

Telco competitors Bouygues and Numericable are the top two contenders, with Bouygues having offered $14.4 billion in the 46 percent SFR stake.

Reports say Numericable’s offer is likely to more easily gain regulatory approval, however, as the company operates in the cable industry without overlapping in SFR’s wireless operations.

But a Bouygues and SFR merger would threaten the current wireless market and the position of top rival Orange.

With such a major acquisition, French competition authorities said, the complex deal will likely take months to properly review.

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