Cellnex says it has no doubt UK watchdog will approve CK Hutchison deal

FILE PHOTO: Telecom antennas of Spain's telecoms infrastructures firm Cellnex are seen under main telecom tower, known as "Piruli", in Madrid, Spain, March 10, 2016. REUTERS/Sergio Perez

BARCELONA (Reuters) - Spanish phone tower operator Cellnex has no doubt that Britain’s competition watchdog will end up approving its deal with Hong Kong’s CK Hutchison, its Chief Financial Officer Jose Manuel Aisa told Reuters.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said on Tuesday it would refer the UK telecom tower deal for a deeper “Phase 2” investigation after it initially warned it could lead to higher prices and lower quality services for network operators.

Aisa deemed the probe “absolutely normal” and said he expected the “Phase 2” investigation would not be resolved before around June 2022.

Last year, Cellnex said it would buy 24,600 telecom towers across Europe from CK Hutchison, which owns the Three mobile network in Britain, for 10 billion euros ($11.81 billion).

($1 = 0.8467 euros)

Reporting by Joan Faus, editing by Inti Landauro