French competition regulator believes EU will approve German mobile consolidation

PARIS, June 12 Thu Jun 12, 2014 4:06am EDT

PARIS, June 12 (Reuters) - France's top competition regulator Bruno Lasserre said on Thursday that he believed the European Commission will approve a pending deal for Telefonica to buy smaller rival KPN in Germany.

Europe's telecom sector is eagerly waiting for the EU decision, which is expected by July 10, because the policy it sets is seen by executives and investors as potentially spurring further consolidation in the region.

"I am making the bet that the commission will give the green light to consolidation in Germany with remedies," said Lasserre at a telecoms conference held by newspaper Les Echos.

Lasserre added that the remedies being weighed would aim to protect competition by requiring Telefonica to reserve capacity on its network for virtual network operators. (Reporting by Leila Abboud and Gwenaelle Barzic; editing by Blaise Robinson)

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