Commission does not refer investigation of Hutchison/Telefónica UK merger to UK
The European Commission has decided not to refer the planned acquisition of Telefónica UKby Hutchison to the UK competition authority. The Commission concluded that it was better placed to ensure consistency in the application of merger control rules in the mobile telecommunications sector across the European Economic Area (EEA).
On 11 September 2015, Hutchison 3G UK notified its plans to acquire sole control of Telefónica UK to the Commission.
On 2 October 2015, the UK competition authority submitted a request under Article 9(2) (a) of the EU Merger Regulation. This provision allows a Member State to request the Commission to refer all or part of the assessment of a case to it, provided that the competitive effects are purely national.
In deciding whether to refer a case upon such a request, the Commission particularly takes into account which authority is better placed to deal with the case at hand. In the case of Hutchison 3G UK/Telefónica UK, the Commission concluded that, given its extensive experience in assessing cases in this sector, it was better placed to deal with the transaction and ensure consistency in the application of merger control rules in the mobile telecommunications sectors across the EEA.
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