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The Government has no intention of making any list of "high-risk" telecom providers

Regarding the merger of Orange and MásMóvil in Spain, the Executive examines with the "utmost care" the aspects to which it has to give approval.

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The Government has no intention of making any list of "high-risk" telecom providers

Regarding the merger of Orange and MásMóvil in Spain, the Executive examines with the "utmost care" the aspects to which it has to give approval

The Minister for Digital Transformation and the Public Service, José Luis Escrivá, assured this Friday that the Government "has no intention of making any list of high-risk" telecommunications providers in Spain.

"Spain has no intention of making any list of high-risk suppliers nor is there any European framework that requires it," Escrivá stated in his speech at an event organized by Nueva Economía Fórum.

The possibility of the Executive establishing a list of risk suppliers was an option that could affect some Chinese companies such as Huawei or ZTE, whose equipment ran the risk of being banned from the deployment of 5G networks, for example.

In fact, in mid-June the European Commission considered that it was "absolutely justified" that several countries in the European Union had decided to exclude the aforementioned Chinese technology companies from the deployment of their 5G networks, considering that they are suppliers that pose risks to the National security.

CYBERSECURITY LAW

On the other hand, the minister highlighted that Spain needs a Cybersecurity Law that brings together all the country's capabilities and good practices in this field.

"We need a cybersecurity law that makes all these good practices that exist in Spain and all those capabilities well organized," he stressed.

Along these lines, he highlighted that this regulation would also help the effective coordination of all government institutions in matters of cybersecurity and that work in different sectors, such as national security, health or public administration.

ORANGE-MASMOVIL FUSION

Regarding the merger of Orange and MásMóvil in Spain, which was authorized this week by the European Commission and which is still pending approval by the Government, Escrivá has stressed that the Executive is examining with the "utmost care" the aspects to which you have to give approval.

"In this authorization process of the European Commission we have been present and we have had our 'inputs'. It is important that the European Commission has recognized that some of the 'remedies' (conditions) that it has established have to do with something that is the domain national, such as the (radioelectric) spectrum," the minister highlighted.

In that sense, part of the 'remedies' of the merger of Orange and MásMóvil has to do with the agreement reached with Digi for the Romanian operator to acquire 60 megahertz (MHz) of radio spectrum in different frequency bands.

"The (radioelectric) spectrum is a scarce good that is state property and that we offer in concession (...) All decisions that have to do with the spectrum are decisions that in the end we have to authorize and examine. Therefore Therefore, (...) it is our moment and we are examining it with the utmost care, as it cannot be in one way," he added.

Regarding this, Orange highlighted in the presentation of its results corresponding to 2023 that the approvals by the Executive should be delayed "a couple of weeks", so, once that authorization from the Government is closed and the legal and financial aspects are finalized pending, it is expected that the operation will close before the end of the first quarter of this year.

In this way, once the transaction is closed, the two companies will begin to operate as one in Spain. However, it is still unknown what the name of the new company will be as well as where its headquarters will be located.