In-depth investigation into Hutchison-Orange Austria merger
Friday 29 June 2012
The acquisition of the mobile network operator Orange Austria, a subsidiary of France Télécom, by Hong Kong’s Hutchison 3G is under scrutiny. On 29 June,the European Commission opened an in-depth investigation into this operation, as it has found that it could “create significant competition problems by removing Orange as a competitor in the retail market”. Austria would only have three mobile operators and the EU executive wants to ensure that this merger will not lead to an increase in tariffs for the end consumer. The Commission stresses that the repercussions could also concern the wholesale market for network access and call origination. The Commission now has up to 90 working days to take a final decision on whether the concentration would significantly impede effective competition within the common market.