European Union antitrust regulators are set to make a crucial decision by February 15 on whether to greenlight the proposed merger between Orange’s Spanish unit and MasMovil. This development comes after both companies submitted remedies to alleviate competition concerns, as reported in an update on the European Commission website.
The EU’s competition watchdog initiated a halt on its scrutiny of the deal on July 28, citing a need for additional information from Orange and MasMovil. After a temporary suspension that lasted several months, the investigation resumed this Tuesday. The regulatory body will now proceed to gather feedback from the competitors and customers of both Orange and MasMovil before reaching a final decision on whether to accept the proposed remedies.
Sources reveal that the companies, with the support of the European Commission, have identified Romania’s Digi (DIGI.BX) as the preferred buyer for assets slated for divestiture. This strategic move is aimed at addressing the antitrust concerns raised by the EU during the course of its investigation. The potential acquisition of these assets by Digi is seen as a proactive step by Orange and MasMovil to demonstrate their commitment to fostering a competitive market environment.
The tie-up between Orange’s Spanish unit and MasMovil has been under intense scrutiny due to its potential impact on market competition. Both companies have been working collaboratively with the European Commission to address any reservations regarding the merger.
In October, anonymous sources informed Reuters that the companies had chosen Digi as the buyer for the assets slated for divestiture. This decision aligns with the conditions set forth by the European Commission and reflects a concerted effort to allay concerns about potential monopolistic practices.