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Brussels approves with conditions the merger of Orange and MásMóvil

The European Commission announced this Tuesday that it approves the merger of Orange and MásMóvil but does so subject to the companies complying with the concessions agreed with the Romanian competitor Digi to avoid competition problems in the European economic area.

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Brussels approves with conditions the merger of Orange and MásMóvil

The European Commission announced this Tuesday that it approves the merger of Orange and MásMóvil but does so subject to the companies complying with the concessions agreed with the Romanian competitor Digi to avoid competition problems in the European economic area.

"The commitments offered by the parties will allow Digi, the largest and fastest growing mobile virtual network operator in Spain, to replicate the strong competitive pressure exerted by MásMóvil," the vice president of the Community Executive in charge of Competition indicated in a statement. , Margrethe Vestager.

The Danish liberal added that the package of commitments will also ensure that consumers in Spain "continue to benefit from a competitive telecommunications market, both in terms of prices and quality and 5G connectivity."

Already in December, the parties announced an agreement for Digi to acquire from Xfera Móviles (MásMóvil) a total of 60 megahertz (MHz) of radio space in different frequency bands, an operation worth 120 million euros that is part of the assignments offered to Brussels in exchange for its approval. With this move, community services hope that the Romanian company can build its own mobile network and thus exert strong competitive pressure.

Another of the commitments submitted to the Community Executive is a roaming agreement that will be optional for Digi, so that the company can decide later whether to use it or not.

The Commission considers this option "essential" because Digi's mobile network will probably not cover the entire territory of Spain and will be able to decide whether to stay with its current provider, Telefónica, or choose to change to another, either the joint venture. between Orange and MásMóvil or Vodafone, the third operator in the Spanish sector.

In its preliminary examination of the operation, Brussels feared that the alliance between the two companies would restrict competition in the retail markets for the supply of fixed and mobile internet services in Spain, given that the merger means eliminating an important direct competitor and could have caused a sharp rise in prices.