to win EU approval for $9.8 billion Ono deal: sources
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[June 26, 2014]
By Foo Yun Chee and Kate
BRUSSELS/LONDON (Reuters) -
Vodafone is set to gain unconditional EU approval for
its 7.2-billion-euro ($9.79 billion) bid for Spain's
largest cable operator Ono as regulators do not have
competition concerns, three people familiar with the
matter said on Wednesday.
The deal is part of a wave of consolidation in the telecoms industry
and is the British firm's third acquisition of a European
fixed-broadband asset in two years.
Telecoms providers say more mergers are necessary to offset falling
revenues and to secure the funds to upgrade infrastructure for
Buying Ono will enable Vodafone to better compete with Spanish
market leader Telefonica. Vodafone's 25 percent share of the Spanish
mobile market is expected to increase by almost two percentage
points after the deal.
The people said the European Commission has not demanded concessions
from Vodafone, the world's second-largest mobile operator.
"There are no issues, the deal will be cleared by the European
Commission without conditions," said one of the people, who declined
to be named because the Commission's decision is not public yet. The
other two sources said they have the same expectations.
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A Commission official and Vodafone declined to comment. The EU
antitrust watchdog has set a July 2 deadline for its decision.
($1 = 0.7355 Euros)
(Reporting by Foo Yun Chee and Kate Holton; editing by Barbara Lewis
and Louise Heavens)
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