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European Commission approves acquisition of Com Hem by Tele2

Commission approved deal unconditionally

The European Commission has approved the acquisition of Swedish cable company Com Hem by mobile operator Tele2 “unconditionally”.

The deal was first announced by the two companies in January.

In its judgement, the Commission said that although both companies are active in the provision of retail mobile telecommunications services, retail fixed internet access services and multiple play services, it found that the impact of the transaction on these markets would be 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.

The Commission also found that the merged business 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.

It 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.

Following the ruling, the deal is expected to close next month.