The General Court of the EU overruled the European Commission’s move to block the deal between Telefónica UK (O2) and Hutchison 3G UK (Three) on anti-competitive grounds.
“The Commission’s application of the assessment criteria of the so-called ‘unilateral’ effects – namely, the concept of ‘important competitive force’, the closeness of competition between Three and O2 and the quantitative analysis of the effects of the concentration on prices – is vitiated by several errors of law and of assessment.”
General Court of the EU Press Release
This ruling clears a legal hurdle for Telefonica and Liberty Global’s JV between their O2 and Virgin Media businesses. The planned merger will help encourage the buildout of 5G technology, a major objective of European leaders.