Yesterday, Telefónica Deutschland received the EU Commission´s conditional clearance to acquire the E-Plus Group from the Dutch telecommunication corporation KPN.
We welcome that decision which will allow Telefónica to deliver a better customer experience in Germany, based on a wider, better and faster connectivity.
In the course of the merger clearance process, Telefónica Deutschland has agreed a set of remedies which fully address the EU commission’s competition concerns:
- Telefónica has committed to sell upfront 20 percent of its mobile network capacity via Bitstream Access to an MVNO and give the opportunity to acquire up to 10 percent additional network capacity. Bitstream Access is a product where the MNO provides network capacity in the form of data throughput and data volume. This enables an MVNO to offer its own mobile services to customers. Telefónica Deutschland has already signed a corresponding contract with Drillisch. This will become effective when the European Commission confirms that the agreement with Drillisch complies with the conditions and obligations attached to the approval of the transaction.
- Telefónica will make available to an interested party a package of 2.1 and 2.6. GHz frequencies, mobile sites, national roaming and a passive site sharing, to allow the potential entry to a new competitor in Germany.
- An independent third-party Monitoring Trustee will be appointed and will supervise the compliance of Telefónica with the commitments over the whole period
- In addition, existing contracts with wholesale partners will be extended until 2025 and the transition to a different guest network operator will be facilitated.
I believe that this decision by the European Commission is an important step into the right direction. Europe´s communication and broadband markets are still too fragmented and need consolidation to allow for competition and better customer experience. European communication and broadband providers will be the key part of a vibrant and competitive European Digital Economy.
To be able to deliver the investments and innovation which Europe´s economy and society need for its global competitiveness, stronger and more competitive communication and broadband providers will be needed.
We expect the acquisition of E-plus to be closed during the 3rd quarter of 2014.