Date
27 March 2017
Hutchison Whampoa is buying Telefonica's British mobile unit O2 for 10.25 billion pounds (US$15.82 billion). Photo: Bloomberg
Hutchison Whampoa is buying Telefonica's British mobile unit O2 for 10.25 billion pounds (US$15.82 billion). Photo: Bloomberg

Hutchison seeks EU nod for US$15.8 bln bid for O2

Hutchison Whampoa Ltd. (00001.HK) has sought EU approval for its 10.25 billion pound (US$15.82 billion) bid for Telefonica’s British mobile unit O2.

The European Commission said it would decide by Oct. 16 whether to clear the deal, which would make Hutchison’s Three UK business the second-biggest of Britain’s three remaining network operators, Reuters reported.

The EU competition authority could either clear the deal with or without conditions or open an extensive investigation if it has serious concerns.

Hutchison could face a strong regulatory headwind after European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager on Friday said she was ready to veto a plan by TeliaSonera and Telenor to combine forces in Denmark because they had not offered sufficient concessions.

Hutchison, owned by billionaire Li Ka-shing, is no stranger to tough regulatory demands. It was forced to offer significant concessions to secure the EU go-ahead for recent deals in Austria and Ireland, the report said.

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CG

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