18 May 2017
| Alan Burkitt-Gray
Acquisitive European telecoms group Altice say it will challenge the European Commission’s accusation about its purchase of Portugal Telecom in 2015.
The Commission says that Altice, which also owns SFR in
France and cable operators Cablevision and Suddenlink in the
US, took control of Telecom PT before it was officially allowed
Altice said: "Altice does not agree with the European
Commission's preliminary conclusions, and will submit a full
response to the statement of objections and contest all the
objections. The sending of a statement of objections does not
prejudge the final outcome of the investigation."
The company insisted that the Commission’s action
does not reverse the €7.4 billion takeover. "The
investigation proceedings do not affect the approval granted by
the European Commission for the acquisition of PT Portugal by
Altice," the company said.
However Altice faces a fine of 10% of its €23.5 billion
turnover if the Commission rejects the company’s
The Commission said it "takes the preliminary view that Altice
actually implemented the acquisition prior to the adoption of
the Commission’s clearance decision, and in some
instances, prior to its notification."