BRUSSELS, April 3 EU regulators hope to decide
by June whether to clear Telefonica's bid for KPN's
E-Plus unit in Germany, the EU's antitrust chief said
The deal, which has drawn intense regulatory attention as it
would reduce the number of mobile operators from four to three
in Europe's biggest economy, could pave the way for more mergers
in the telecoms industry.
However, telecoms operators are wary on the kind of
concessions they would be required to provide to secure
regulatory approval. Typical concessions include giving up
spectrum and facilitating rivals' access to networks.
European Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia, who is
now examining the German deal and Hutchison Whampoa's
bid for Telefonica's Irish unit, said he will decide on the two
cases in the next two months.
"The Irish decision is expected more or less by the end of
May and the German decision in June probably," he told a
The European Commission on Wednesday extended by 10 working
days its scrutiny of the German deal to May 28, giving
Telefonica more time to come up with concessions, which will
automatically trigger another extension of 15 working days.
The EU deadline for a decision on the Hutchison case is May
(Reporting by Foo Yun Chee; editing by Robin Emmott)