The European Commission takes note of Telenor and TeliaSonera's announcement this morning that they are abandoning the proposed merger of their respective business units in Denmark. The Commission confirms that the discussions with the parties thus far were not able to fully address the Commission's competition concerns created by the proposed merger. The Commission had opened an in-depth investigation on 8 April 2015.
Commissioner Margrethe Vestager in charge of competition policy said: "EU merger control has to make sure that company tie-ups do not lead to reduced innovation, higher prices or reduced choice for consumers and do not restrict competition in the internal market.
I believe that ensuring that markets are competitive is key both to spur much needed innovation and investment in European telecoms markets, as well as to offer affordable prices to consumers.
Every case has to be assessed on its own facts and merits. In this specific case, based on the Commission's in-depth analysis and evidence gathered, we are convinced that the significant competition concerns required an equally significant remedy. This means the creation of a fourth mobile network operator. What the parties offered was not sufficient to avoid harm to competition in Danish mobile markets."