Mobile network operator consolidation in Germany
Telefonica’s acquisition of E-Plus, if approved, will turn Germany into a fiercely competitive market.
The European Commission’s analysis of the Austrian merger case was inadequate and key arguments that led to the approval of the merger were flawed. Telefonica’s acquisition of E-Plus in Germany could only be approved if a fourth national mobile network operator entered the market. In the absence of a new operator entry, Telefonica’s acquisition of E-Plus should not be approved on the sole basis of an Austrian-like toothless MVNO wholesale access remedy but rather on the condition that Telefonica must become post-merger a truly competitive mobile-only operator force by divesting all its fixed-line assets and by maximising the utilisation of its spectrum holdings.
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