Telefonica offers concessions to get E-Plus deal approved

|By:, SA News Editor

A Telefonica (TEF -0.6%) spokesman tells Reuters his company has offered concessions to EU regulators in an attempt to win approval for its €8.1B ($11.9B) acquisition of rival German carrier E-Plus (KKPNY).

Regulators have been nervous about diminished competition, given the deal will lower the number of German mobile network owners to three: Telefonica, Vodafone, and Deutsche Telekom. MVNOs argue Telefonica should be required to sell some prepaid brands and provide network access to them at cost.

But as recent remarks from the French government show, there's a growing willingness among continental regulators to support a measure of consolidation, with the hope that merging weaker players will create entities more able/willing to make big network investments.

The EU plans to rule on Telefonica/E-Plus by June 23. Telefonica still hopes to close the deal by the end of Q2.