Mergers: Commission clears acquisition of sole control of Wind Tre by Hutchison, subject to conditions

11 settembre 2018

On August 3, 2018, the European Commission has approved under the EU Merger Regulation Hutchison's acquisition of sole control of Wind Tre, currently controlled by Hutchison and VEON. Hutchison will remain responsible for fulfilling the conditions of the Commission's 2016 decision clearing the creation of Wind Tre.

In July 2018, Hutchison agreed to acquire sole control over Wind Tre. The Commission has reviewed this new deal. It found that, other than the creation of Wind Tre and the entry of Iliad on the market, no significant change has occurred in the competitive landscape of the Italian mobile markets compared to that assessed in 2016. The Commission concluded that the new transaction does not alter the existing competitive situation resulting from the first transaction, and no additional competition concerns have been identified.

However, the 2016 conditions are still being implemented and the Commission concluded that, should this cease to be the case, the new transaction would raise the same concerns identified by the Commission in the 2016 clearance decision.

To address these concerns, Hutchison has offered to assume full responsibility for complying with the commitments submitted jointly with VimpelCom (now VEON) in 2016. This relates in particular to the completion of spectrum transfer and site divestment and to the implementation of the national roaming agreement until Iliad's network is fully rolled out. VEON will be released from any further obligations as it will no longer have control over Wind Tre. The proposed remedies are consistent with the Commission's practice in previous cases and appear to be the most appropriate solution based on the results of the Commission's investigation.

The Commission concluded that the proposed transaction, as modified by the commitments, would no longer raise competition concerns. The decision is conditional upon full compliance with the commitments.

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