European Commission probes Telenor-TeliaSonera merger
The European Commission will investigate whether a proposed merger between Telenor and TeliaSonera in Denmark could raise consumers’ bills and impede competition.
In 2014, Telenor and TeliaSonera agreed to combine their Danish operations, a move that would leave three players in the market.
“The merged entity would face insufficient competitive constraint from the only two remaining players,” the EC said.
The two remaining players – TDC and Hi3G – could struggle to compete with the merged entity which will have a market share of approximately 40%. “This could lead to higher prices and less innovation,” it added.
The EC noted that both Telenor and TeliaSonera already offer mobile and fixed services, as well as broadband and TV services.
“My aim is to make sure that the proposed transaction will not lead to higher prices to Danish consumers and businesses,” said European competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager.
In response to the investigation, Telenor said it believes the merger will create a robust competitor across fixed and mobile markets in the country.
“We are committed to the Danish market and the merger is a necessary step to enable us to increase investments to the benefit of consumers and businesses. Investments in telecoms infrastructure is a pre-requisite for keeping up with consumers’ and businesses’ demand as well as supporting the potential for growth, competitiveness and innovation that is high on the political agenda in both Denmark and the EU,” it said.
The EU competition authority will make a decision on the deal by August 19.