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European Commission - Press release

Mergers: Commission approves acquisition of Com Hem by Tele2

Brussels, 8 October 2018

The European Commission has approved unconditionally, under the EU Merger Regulation, the proposed acquisition of Com Hem by Tele2. The Commission concluded that the transaction would raise no competition concerns as the companies' activities and assets are largely complementary.

Tele2 and Com Hem both provide telecommunications services in Sweden. Com Hem's main activities are related to fixed telecommunications and TV, while Tele2 is mainly active in mobile telecommunications.

Firstly, the Commission examined the impact of the proposed transaction on the markets in the fixed and mobile telecommunications sector in Sweden where the activities of Tele2 and Com Hem overlap.

Although both companies are active in the provision of retail mobile telecommunications services, retail fixed internet access services and multiple play services, the Commission found that the impact of the transaction on these markets is very limited. This is due to the marginal role of Com Hem in the provision of mobile services and the fact that Tele2's fixed telecommunication activities are limited. The market investigation confirmed that Tele2 and Com Hem's activities are largely complementary and that at present they are not perceived as direct competitors.

Secondly, the Commission found that the merged entity would continue to face significant competition from other players such as Telia and Telenor, both active on all retail telecommunications markets in Sweden, as well as Tre, active on the retail mobile telecommunications market in Sweden.

Thirdly, the Commission examined the possible effects of the bundled multiple play services that would result from the transaction leading to a conglomerate relationship in the fixed and mobile telecommunications markets in Sweden. The Commission concluded that the merged entity would not have market power to shut out or marginalise its fixed or mobile competitors by bundling fixed and mobile products.

Therefore, following its phase I investigation, the Commission concluded that the transaction would raise no competition concerns in any of the affected markets and cleared the case unconditionally.

 

Merger control rules and procedures

The transaction was notified to the Commission on 3 September 2018.

The Commission has the duty to assess mergers and acquisitions involving companies with a turnover above certain thresholds (see Article 1 of the Merger Regulation) and to prevent concentrations that would significantly impede effective competition in the EEA or any substantial part of it.

The vast majority of mergers do not pose competition problems and are cleared after a routine review. From the moment a transaction is notified, the Commission generally has a total of 25 working days to decide whether to grant approval (Phase I) or to start an in-depth investigation (Phase II).

More information will be available on the competition website, in the Commission's public case register under the case number M.8842.

IP/18/6065

Press contacts:

General public inquiries: Europe Direct by phone 00 800 67 89 10 11 or by email


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