EU regulators reject UK bid to examine Hutchison's O2 takeover bid

A woman speaks on her mobile telephone outside an O2 shop in Loughborough, central England January 23, 2015. REUTERS/Darren Staples

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - EU antitrust regulators rejected on Friday a request by Britain's competition authority to examine Hutchison Whampoa's 0001.HK 10.3-billion-pound bid for British mobile unit O2, saying an EU review would ensure uniform rules.

“The (European) Commission concluded that, given its extensive experience in assessing cases in this sector, it was better placed to deal with the transaction and ensure consistency in the application of merger control rules in the mobile telecommunications sectors across the European Economic Area,” the EU executive said.

The UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) had said it was more qualified than the EU enforcer to scrutinise Hutchison's bid to create the biggest mobile operator in Britain by merging its Three UK unit with Telefonica's TEF.MC O2.

Reporting by Foo Yun Chee