T-Mobile Austria appeals against Hutchison acquisition

03 January 2013 |


T-Mobile Austria has thrown a spanner in the works of the already long delayed acquisition of Orange Austria by Hutchison.

The Deutsche Telekom-owned operator has appealed against the allocation of spectrum that will result from the €1.3 billion deal, due to fears it will allow its rivals an advantage in the build-out of their LTE networks.

T-Mobile has asked for the spectrum transfer to be put on hold while the case is being heard, and expects a court decision on whether to grant an injunction within days, according to Reuters. The case could last until March or April.

The Hutchison Orange deal only overcame regulatory issues last month, following a drawn out investigation by the European Commission and initial opposition to part of the deal by Austria’s competition authority.

T-Mobile’s opposition is driven by the fact that the spectrum it will receive will not be adjacent, meaning unlike its competitors, Hutchison and Telekom Austria, it will be forced to wait until the country’s 4G spectrum auction to roll out its LTE network.

The company’s CEO had previously threatened to reduce investment or even withdraw from the country altogether if it was restricted from obtaining LTE frequencies.

Austria’s auction of 800, 900 and 1800MHz spectrum was originally due to take place in September 2012 but the Hutchison Orange deal forced regulator the Telekom-Control Commission to delay the process.