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RTR confirms: no green light for Orange takeover by "3"

The Austrian regulatory authorities TKK and RTR wish to make the following statement in response to recent press reports.

At the request of and in coordination with the European Commission, RTR and the TKK have been deliberating conditions that would have to be met as a prerequisite for approval of the transfer of frequencies from Orange to H3G. The authority of the Austrian telecoms regulator is limited to assessing the commercial impact of a transfer of frequencies: it is not authorised to approve the merger itself. The European Commission is responsible for investigating the proposed acquisition of Orange by H3G; the Austrian cartel court is responsible for investigating the sale of Yesss! to A1. To RTR’s knowledge, neither of these two procedures has been concluded.

The TKK is required to undertake investigations into whether the transfer of frequencies from one mobile operator to another would result in a distortion of competition. In particular, the TKK has to evaluate the impact that such a transfer would have on market competitors. The TKK must prohibit the transfer of frequencies if, despite the imposition of conditions, it is likely to have a negative impact on competition. The TKK is expected to reach a decision during the course of this year.