Brussels notifies Orange and MásMóvil that it sees competition problems in their merger


Brussels notifies Orange and MásMóvil that it sees competition problems in their merger


The European Commission has reported this Tuesday that it sees competition problems in the merger announced between Orange and MásMóvil because it fears that the number of network operators in the Spanish retail markets for mobile telecommunications and internet services will be reduced and this will result in "large price increases" for end customers.

Brussels announced last April the start of an in-depth investigation to determine whether the operation, which will create a new customer leader in Spain, could put competition in the offer of multiple service packages and retail broadband service at risk. mobile and fixed.

In its preliminary examination, the Community Executive has concluded that the business project "can reduce competition in the retail provision of mobile telecommunications services and fixed internet, as well as multiple service packages in Spain." The Commission fears, for example, that by reducing the number of operators, "significant competitive pressure and an innovative rival in the Spanish retail markets" will also be eliminated.

In the statement of objections communicated this Tuesday by the Community Executive, the community services explain their concern that the merger could lead to "large price increases for affected retail customers throughout the Spanish market."

"The anticipated anti-competitive effects are substantial, even taking into account the possible cost savings, in a context in which competition has been a driver of investment and quality of services in the Spanish market", the European Commission reported in a release.

Brussels recalls that Orange and MásMóvil are the second and fourth largest providers of retail mobile and fixed internet services in Spain, a market where four large mobile network providers operate -with Telefónica and Vodafone in addition to Orange and MásMóvil-, but There are also various mobile and fixed virtual network operators that use the infrastructures of network operators to offer their services.

The operation was notified to the Community Executive on February 13 and, after the investigation opened in April and the statement of charges notified now, a period is now open until September 4 for community services to make a final decision.