Orange Austria sale delays spectrum auction
Austria’s regulator, the Telekom-Control Commission (TKK), has delayed the country’s auction of the 800/900/1800MHz spectrum bands as a result of the proposed takeover of Orange Austria by Hutchison 3G Austria.
The TKK said that its decision came after consideration of the possible negative effects on competition and risks associated with the procurement process by holding to schedule. The decision was made despite the likelihood that it would delay adoption of LTE in the country.
The regulator had originally planned to publish the tender documents for the auction in April, with the actual auction to be held in September 2012.
Hutchison 3G Austria has proposed to acquire Orange Austria for €1.3 billion. Under the transaction Hutchison will sell 2.1GHz licences, 3000-5000 base stations and the Yesss! brand to Telekom Austria Group, immediately after acquiring the company.
The Yesss! sale would raise Telekom Austria’s market share by 5% to 47%, with an additional 750,000 subscribers.
The TKK said that it could not predict the duration of the approval process for the merger but stated that it had the option to restart the auction procurement process at any time.