July 27, 2014 / 2:42 PM / in 3 years

Hutchison withdraws Austrian telecoms auction appeal

VIENNA, July 27 (Reuters) - Hutchison Whampoa’s Austrian telecoms unit, Drei, has withdrawn its appeal against the result of a 2 billion euro ($2.69 billion) frequency auction, it said on Sunday.

Drei said it withdrew the appeal at the end of June as it saw signs that some of the auction proceeds would be invested in broadband infrastructure in Austria.

“We are still convinced that the auction process was illegal in form and content,” Drei’s Chief Executive Jan Trionow said in an emailed statement. “However, the circumstances have changed in the meantime.”

Austria said this week it would invest one billion euros of the auction proceeds into broadband infrastructure, starting with 200 million euros in 2016. It would invite offers for projects through a public tender process, it said.

Both Hutchison and Deutsche Telekom’s T-Mobile had said late last year they would appeal against the results of the auction, which was Europe’s most expensive for fourth-generation frequencies per head of population.

T-Mobile did not immediately respond to a query as to the status of its appeal.

$1 = 0.7447 Euros Reporting by Georgina Prodhan, editing by David Evans

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