Global Competition Review Quotes Davina Garrod on EU’s Rejection of CK Hutchison/Telefónica Deal
Akin Gump partner Davina Garrod has been quoted in the Global Competition Review article “CK Hutchison “likely to appeal” against DG Comp Three/O2 prohibition,” regarding a decision by the European Commission to block the proposed acquisition by CK Hutchison of Telefónica’s UK mobile business.
As the article reports, the EU competition commissioner said a combination of Hutchison’s Three and Telefónica’s O2 brands would have created a market leader with influence over the UK’s entire mobile network infrastructure, raising significant competition concerns and leaving fewer choices for consumers. Garrod said the decision to block the deal shows the commission’s continued focus on shorter-term pricing evaluations and the effect of four-to-three mergers on innovation.
Despite the decision, as well as last year’s abandoned TeliaSonera/Telenor deal, this is not the end of all four-to-three mergers, Garrod said, and she thinks attention will now turn to the Italian mobile market, which is arguably different than the UK market in a number of respects. “Meanwhile,” she added, “there remains some more fixed-mobile ‘convergence’ deals in concentrated markets in the pipeline, including the proposed merger of the Dutch operations of Liberty and Vodafone.”