EU clears Altice’s acquisition of PT Portugal

in Business · 23-04-2015 14:25:00 · 0 Comments
EU clears Altice’s acquisition of PT Portugal

The European Commission has authorised under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed acquisition of the Portuguese telecommunications operator PT Portugal by the multinational cable and telecommunications company Altice.

The decision is conditional upon the divestment of Altice’s current Portuguese businesses ONI and Cabovisão. The Commission had concerns that the merged entity would have faced insufficient competitive constraint from the remaining players on the market for fixed telecommunications. This could have led to higher prices for clients.

The divestments offered by Altice address these concerns. The Commission has also rejected a request to refer the examination of the transaction to the Portuguese competition authority.
EU Commissioner in charge of competition policy Margrethe Vestager said: “Telecoms play an essential role in our digital society. My wish is to ensure that the merger will not lead to higher prices and less competition for Portuguese consumers. The commitments offered by the parties address this concern”.
Altice operates via two subsidiaries in Portugal, Cabovisão and ONI. Cabovisão provides pay TV, fixed internet access and fixed telephone services essentially to residential customers. ONI provides services to business customers, including fixed telecommunication services, in particular voice, data and internet access services as well as IT services.

The Commission had concerns that the merger, as initially notified, would have reduced competition in a number of telecommunications markets in Portugal.
These markets include the wholesale markets for leased lines and for call transit services, the provision of fixed voice services, fixed internet access services and pay TV services to residential customers and the provision of telecommunication services to business customers.
The merger would have removed a strong competitor from these markets, with the comsequent risrk of higher prices and less competition in Portugal.
In order to remove these concerns, Altice offered to sell its Portuguese subsidiaries Cabovisão and ONI.
These clear-cut structural commitments completely remove the overlap between the activities of Altice and PT Portugal within Portugal and are therefore appropriate to address the initial competition concerns identified by the Commission. The Commission concluded that the transaction, as modified by the commitments, would raise no competition concerns. The decision is conditional upon full compliance with the commitments.



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