Feeds

EC waves through O2 buy-out

Telefonica agrees to leave roaming group

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

The European Commission has cleared Telefonica's takeover of O2, Eurocrats announced yesterday.

Although it agreed to give the deal the necessary rubber stamps, the Commission had raised concerns that the buy-out might jeopardise competition for international roaming charges.

That's because both Telefonica and O2 belong to different industry groups that co-operate on roaming enabling punters to use their mobiles overseas as if they were at home.

Along with incumbents France Telecom, Telecom Italia and Deutsche Telekom, Telefonica is part of the so-called FreeMove alliance.

O2, on the other hand, is part of the Starmap alliance made up of smaller telcos.

This, said the Commission, "gave rise to competition concerns on the market for international roaming services" because O2 would most likely join the big boys at FreeMove and "O2 would in all probability be less ready to exchange international roaming traffic with non-FreeMove members".

To resolve this potential problem, Telefonica has agreed to leave FreeMove.

Or as the Commission put it: "To address the Commission's concerns and in order to avoid an in-depth investigation, Telefonica committed itself to leave the FreeMove alliance as soon as possible and not to re-enter that alliance without the Commission's prior consent in the coming years.

"With the termination of its alliance membership the serious doubts outlined above are removed and the Commission can approve the merger."

In October last year O2 agreed to be bought by Telefonica for £18bn as the Spanish telco looks to expand its operations into UK and Germany.

Mobile outfit O2 - which split from BT in 2001 - will retain its bubbly brand and keep its HQ in the UK. ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
6 Obvious Reasons Why Facebook Will Ban This Article (Thank God)
Clampdown on clickbait ... and El Reg is OK with this
So, Apple won't sell cheap kit? Prepare the iOS garden wall WRECKING BALL
It can throw the low cost race if it looks to the cloud
Time Warner Cable customers SQUEAL as US network goes offline
A rude awakening: North Americans greeted with outage drama
We need less U.S. in our WWW – Euro digital chief Steelie Neelie
EC moves to shift status quo at Internet Governance Forum
Google has spaffed more cash on lobbying this year than Big Cable
Don't worry, it'll be cheaper when they use drones
EE fails to apologise for HUGE T-Mobile outage that hit Brits on Friday
Customer: 'Please change your name to occasionally somewhere'
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?