Feeds

EC waves through O2 buy-out

Telefonica agrees to leave roaming group

The Power of One Infographic

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 Power of One Infographic

More from The Register

next story
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
Major problems beset UK ISP filth filters: But it's OK, nobody uses them
It's almost as though pr0n was actually rather popular
Microsoft unsheathes cheap Android-killer: Behold, the Lumia 530
Say it with us: I'm King of the Landfill-ill-ill-ill
All those new '5G standards'? Here's the science they rely on
Radio professor tells us how wireless will get faster in the real world
Apple orders huge MOUNTAIN of 80 MILLION 'Air' iPhone 6s
Bigger, harder trouser bulges foretold for fanbois
Oh girl, you jus' didn't: Level 3 slaps Verizon in Netflix throttle blowup
Just hook us up to more 10Gbps ports, backbone biz yells in tit-for-tat spat
GoTenna: How does this 'magic' work?
An ideal product if you believe the Earth is flat
Telstra to KILL 2G network by end of 2016
GSM now stands for Grave-Seeking-Mobile network
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
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.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.