Hutchison steps up concessions for O2 acquisition

Hutchison steps up concessions for O2 acquisition

Hutchison is set to offer a third set of concessions to the European Commission in its continued bid to gain approval for its £10.5 billion acquisition of O2 UK.

The group is said to submit its final set of proposed concessions today. Some of the remedies include potential deals with Sky and Virgin Media to take about a fifth of the network’s capacity and around 10% of the combined network respectively. 

In addition Hutchison has proposed selling its 50% stake in Tesco Mobile, owned by O2, to give the retailer additional capacity on the network. It has also pledged to invest in network infrastructure that run between O2, Vodafone, Three and EE in the UK. 

Hutchison had told the European Commission last month that it was prepared to sell 30% of capacity to its competitors to allay fears that its deal would impede competition. Three UK’s chairman Canning Fok has previously promised to freeze prices in the UK for five years following the merger. 

Sharon White, chief of UK telecoms regulator, Ofcom, has shared her concerns over the deal that would reduce the UK from a four player market to a three player market.

The European Commission is expected to make a decision on the deal by May 19, 2016.  

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