T-Mobile and Tele2 4 to 3 mobile merger in the Netherlands – Competition concerns, network efficiencies and effective remedies
November 2018

This is a redacted version of the report. The European Commission included this redacted version in the file of the 4 to 3 mobile merger between T-Mobile and Tele2 in the Netherlands (merger case M.8792). The European Commission, the United States Department of Justice, a number of United States Attorney General offices, the German competition authority (Bundeskartellamt) and sector regulators have acquired/obtained a license of the full report.

Are there any remedies that can remove the short and long term competitions concerns entirely?
  • Has Tele2’s 4th MNO entry into the Dutch mobile market led to lower prices?
  • Did the approval of the 4 to 3 mobile mergers in Austria, Ireland and Germany lead to higher prices?
  • Will the proposed 4 to 3 merger of T-Mobile / Tele2 lead to higher prices and/or consumer harm?
  • Will the upcoming 700/1400/2100 spectrum auction have a significant impact on effective competition?
  • Could sizable 3400 – 3800 MHz spectrum assignments (and massive MIMO) reshape the Dutch broadband market?
  • Absent of the merger is it likely that Tele2 and/or T-Mobile will face network capacity constraints that may significantly impede their ability to act as effective competitors in the Dutch mobile and/or broadband markets?
  • How many of Tele2 sites can be reused by T-Mobile?
  • Will the combination of T-Mobile’s and Tele2’s spectrum and radio network sites lead to network capacity efficiency?
  • Can network capacity, coverage or speed efficiencies counteract the anticompetitive effects in 4 to 3 mobile mergers?
  • Are Tele2’s current spectrum holdings (and network) substantially worse than those held by other 4th MNOs present in EU’s big countries?
  • Are there any effective remedies that can remove the short and long term competition concerns entirely?
  • What structural divestments and other commitments are required to create an effective 4th mobile network operator?
  • What market structure is more likely to be conducive to effective competition, lower prices, faster 5G introduction and higher investments?
  • According to a Stratix study Dutch mobile operators will need to spend several billion EUR each to rollout 5G in the Netherlands. Fact or fiction?
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