EU delays Hutchison/Orange Austria merger decision

European Union regulators have chosen to delay their decision on whether Hutchison Whampoa can acquire Orange Austria for €1.3 billion following requests from interested third parties for more time. A decision is now expected by Nov. 30.

EU competition regulators now say that a decision on approval of the deal, which would see Hutchison merge its Austrian mobile operations with Orange Austria, will be pushed back after  third parties had asked the European Commission for more time due to public holidays, according to Reuters.

Hutchison has already conceded to EU requests to open up its network to MVNOs by recently signing an agreement with Liberty Global's cable operator UPC on this issue, according to Reuters.

Separately, Telekom Austria and KPN have announced they will shortly start talks focused on possible synergies as both companies now have América Móvil as a common major shareholder, reports Dow Jones Newswires.

Telekom Austria CEO Hannes Ametsreiter declined to discuss the nature of the talks with KPN, saying they involved internal company strategy. However, he added that he hoped to be able to speak about "some areas" at the company's capital markets day in December.

He indicated that areas such as procurement, wholesale and content activities were likely sectors for collaboration, according to Telecom Paper.

For more:
- see this Reuters article
- see this Dow Jones Newswires article
- see this Telecom Paper article (sub. req.)

Related Articles:
Hutchison offers MVNO access to Orange Austria to gain regulators' approval
Hutchison grows anxious over Orange Austria deal progress
Hutchison, T-Mobile Austria clash over Orange Austria purchase
Hutchison Whampoa boosts European holdings with €1.3B Orange Austria buy

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