T-Mobile gets EC approval to buy Tele2 Netherlands

Deutsche Telekom today announced the approval from the European Commission for the acquisition of Tele2 Netherlands by T-Mobile Netherlands without any conditions.
Deutsche Telekom network EuropeEarlier, several telecom operators could not combine their mobile businesses because of tough policies by Competition Commission.

For instance, Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager did not approve a plan by Telia Company and Telenor to merge their businesses in Denmark in 2015, Reuters reported.

A year later she blocked CK Hutchison Holdings’ plan to merge its Three UK subsidiary with Telefonica’s O2 UK and also demanded hefty concessions for waving through other mobile telecoms deals.

“We can now start to implement the promises we made including an accelerated 5G launch, high speed internet in rural areas as well as contract freedom for new and existing customers with a combined contract of fixed and mobile services,” Soren Abildgaard, CEO of T-Mobile NL, said.

The Commission opened an investigation into the Deutsche Telekom bid five months ago, concerned that a deal reducing the Dutch market to three players from four would hurt competition and lead to price increases for consumers.

The combined company will be in a better position to offer integrated packages of fixed and mobile telecommunication services to customers and step up the challenge for the dominant players — KPN and VodafoneZiggo — in the Dutch market, Deutsche Telekom said.

Deutsche Telekom is also awaiting final round of approvals from the American regulators for the $26 billion acquisition of Sprint by T-Mobile US.

The combined company between Tele2 Netherlands and T-Mobile Netherlands will have pro-forma revenues in excess of 2 billion euros and 4.3 million mobile post-paid subscribers and expects to generate annual run-rate synergies of around 150 million euros per annum within three years from closing.

Tele2 will receive a stake of 25 percent in the enlarged company and a cash payment of EUR 190 million. Deutsche Telekom will own 75 percent of the company and a EUR 1.1 billion intercompany loan receivable.