November 4, 2013 / 9:00 AM / 6 years ago

Telefonica seeks EU okay to buy KPN's German unit

BRUSSELS, Nov 4 (Reuters) - Telefonica has asked EU antitrust regulators to clear its planned 8.6-billion-euro ($11.6 billion) takeover of KPN’s German unit E-Plus, which will reinforce the Spanish telecoms provider against rivals Deutsche Telekom and Vodafone.

The deal will boost Telefonica’s share of German mobile service revenues to about 30 percent, behind leaders Deutsche Telekom and Vodafone.

The European Commission said on its website it would decide by Dec. 6 whether to approve the deal, which will reduce the number of mobile operators in Germany to three from four, a scenario which typically alarms competition regulators.

Analysts say the preliminary review is likely to extend into an in-depth investigation which could take up to five months. Telefonica could allay competition concerns by divesting spectrum and making it easy for rivals to access its network.

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