The proposed merger of Telia and Telenor’s mobile operations in Denmark will face an in-depth competition investigation, the European Commission announced. The two operators announced plans for the 50-50 joint venture in December and sought regulatory clearance from the EC. The commission said it’s concerned that the new market leader would face insufficient competition from the two remaining operators, 3 Denmark and TDC. This could lead to higher prices and less innovation. The Commission now has 90 working days, until 19 August, to take a decision on the merger.
TeliaSonera said in a statement that the EC’s decision was to be expected, given scrutiny of similar mobile acquisitions in recent years. The company said it remains confident in the logic of the merger and expects to receive the regulatory clearance before the end of the year. It looks forward to a “constructive dialogue” with the EC during the competition investigation.
The proposed joint venture would combine the number two and number three operators in the Danish mobile market. It would create the largest player both in terms of revenue and number of subscribers, followed by a similar-sized TDC and smaller 3.