Telefonica Accused By EU Regulators Of Breaking Merger Promise

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Last Friday, the antitrust regulators of the European Union accused Telefonica, the Spanish telecoms operator, of breaking a promise that it has made five years ago to help its rivals to enter the German market, in return for the approval of the regulators of the E-Plus acquisition of the company.

The European Commission said that it has already sent a charge sheet, or a statement of objections, to Telefonica. It said that it has given it until the 5th of April to respond.

The competition enforcer of the European Union waved through the 8.6 billion euro (7.53 billion pounds) E-Plus deal after Telefonica agreed to sell some radio spectrum and rent out some capacity on its network to its smaller rivals.

The firm, however, did what it had promised with one exception.

The EU executive stated: “The Commission’s preliminary view is that Telefonica did not properly implement its obligations under the wholesale 4G access obligation.”

It said that this restricted the ability of third parties to compete in the mobile telephony market of Germany.

Telefonica could be imposed with a fine amounting to up to 10 percent of the global turnover of its German subsidiary if it is found guilty of breaking its pledge.