【英语财经】欧盟以“强烈担心”为由否决李嘉诚收购O2 Brussels cites ‘strong concerns’ as it blocks Hutchison attempt to buy O2

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2016-5-12 22:59

小艾摘要: Brussels has shut the door on the second European telecoms merger in a year in a landmark ruling that will put at risk tens of billions of euros of similar deals in Europe.CK Hutchison’s £10.5bn att ...
Brussels cites ‘strong concerns’ as it blocks Hutchison attempt to buy O2
Brussels has shut the door on the second European telecoms merger in a year in a landmark ruling that will put at risk tens of billions of euros of similar deals in Europe.

CK Hutchison’s £10.5bn attempt to buy O2, Telefónica’s British mobile operator, was blocked yesterday by Margrethe Vestager, the competition commissioner, who cited “strong concerns” that it would have led to less choice and higher prices for UK consumers.

The decision is the first time Brussels has formally ruled against a telecoms in a major European market, although it comes just months after it forced a similar in Denmark deal to collapse.

Hutchison wanted to merge O2 with Three

to create the UK’s largest mobile operator.

However, after almost a year of lobbying it failed to convince the antitrust authority that the deal would benefit consumers.

Ms Vestager said: “Allowing Hutchison to take over O2 at the terms they proposed would have been bad for UK consumers and bad for the UK mobile sector. The remedies offered by Hutchison were not sufficient to prevent this.”

The company said: “We are deeply disappointed by the commission’s decision to prohibit the merger between Three

UK and O2 UK. We will study the commission’s decision in detail and will be considering our options, including the possibility of a legal challenge.”

The ruling represents a personal victory for Ms Vestager, who has taken on a series of high-profile cases that put her at odds with some of the world’s largest companies. It is the first time she has shot down a prominent merger in any sector.

The decision is also a victory for the British competition and industry regulators, which have been vocal in their opposition to the deal.

Telefónica wanted to sell O2 to reduce high levels of debt and help pay its annual dividend. It will look for another buyer for the business.

布鲁塞尔在一年内第二次叫停欧洲的电信合并交易,这一具有里程碑意义的裁决将危及欧洲数百亿欧元同类交易。

昨日,欧盟竞争事务专员玛格丽特?维斯特格(Margrethe Vestager)阻止了长江和记实业(CK Hutchison Holdings)以105亿欧元收购西班牙电信(Telefónica)旗下的英国移动运营商O2的企图,称她“强烈担心”这会让英国消费者面临更少选择和更高价格。

该决定是布鲁塞尔首次正式否决欧洲主要市场的一笔电信业交易,虽然就在几个月前它迫使丹麦的一笔类似交易不了了之。

此前长江和记希望合并O2与Three,打造英国最大的移动运营商。

然而经过近一年的游说后,它还是没能说服反垄断机构相信,这笔交易会造福于消费者。

维斯特格表示:“允许长江和记按照他们提议的条款收购O2,将对英国消费者以及英国移动行业造成不利。长江和记提供的补救措施不足以防止这一点。”

该公司表示:“我们对欧盟委员会禁止O2与Three合并的决定深感失望。我们将详细研究欧盟委员会的决定,并将考虑我们的选择,包括发起法律挑战的可能性。”

这一裁决意味着维斯特格个人的胜利,她接手了一系列令人瞩目的交易,在此过程中与全球最大的几家公司关系紧张。这是她首次正式否决一笔重大并购。

该决定也是英国竞争与行业监管机构的胜利,他们曾直言反对这笔交易。

西班牙电信此前希望出售O2以降低高债务水平,并帮助支付年度股息。该公司将为O2另寻买家。

译者/何黎

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