Digicel, Iliad and Swisscom submit bids for Italian assets

09 June 2016 |

Digicel, Iliad and Swisscom have submitted preliminary bids to acquire assets as a result of a potential merger between VimpelCom's Wind and CK Hutchison's 3 Italia.

The bids were submitted to EU competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager. 

The European Commission (EC) is presently conducting a review of VimpelCom and Hutchison’s €21.8 billion deal signed in August 2015 to combine their Italian mobile businesses – 3 Italia and Wind – into a 50:50 joint venture.

Last month the EC blocked CK Hutchison’s plan to acquire O2 in the UK. According to the Commission, the takeover would have “removed an important competitor”, leaving only two operators – Vodafone and BT’s EE – to challenge the merged entity. 

"The significantly reduced competition in the market would likely have resulted in higher prices for mobile services in the UK and less choice for consumers than without the deal," said the body.

Hutchison and VimelCom will hope to avoid a repeat. Both companies will divest spectrum and about 5,000 telecoms towers in order to ease regulatory concerns and launch a new mobile operator in Italy.

The EC is expected to provide feedback on the bids to Hutchison and VimpelCom from the operators within the next few days although a bidder wouldn’t be picked yet, according to sources of Bloomberg