Eurobites: EU vetoes O2/3 combo
Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Brussels studies Deutsche Telekom's vectoring plan; Nokia brings LTE-Advanced to Jeddah; Mobistar turns Orange.
Fearing such an outcome, Telefónica has reportedly been considering alternative options for a sale of its UK business, including private equity players and US cable giant Liberty Global Inc. (Nasdaq: LBTY). Yesterday, as the Daily Telegraph reports, Liberty Global CEO Mike Fries responded to questions about the possibility of Liberty making a play for O2 by telling investors: "We look at all options in the marketplace and it would be strange if we didn’t evaluate that option." Commenting on the Commission's decision, Bengt Nordström, the CEO of analyst and consulting company Northstream, told Light Reading: "I think there will be a very negative reaction in the investment community and this will scare investors away from the sector in Europe for some time. This is very disappointing for 3 and we can assume Telefónica will try to find a different buyer -- most likely a private equity buyer -- but they will never get near the scale advantage of a combined 3 and O2." (See EC to Stop Hutchison Buying Telefónica UK – Report, Eurobites: Hutchison Rules Out Further Concessions on 3/O2 Deal, Eurobites: Merger of O2 & 3 Is a Bad Idea, UK Tells EC and Telefónica Eyes Alternative Buyers for UK Biz – Report.)
— Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading