Three Ireland statement following the European Commission’s decision to move to a Phase 2 review of the acquisition of O2 Ireland


Dublin 6th November 2013 – Three Ireland notes that the European Commission has today decided to move to a Phase 2 examination of the proposed acquisition of Telefónica Ireland Limited (“O2 Ireland”). The Commission’s decision to open an in-depth investigation is not unexpected in the context of previous statements by the Commission that it would take a close look at in-country telecoms mergers and does not in any way prejudge the final outcome of the Commission’s review. Three believes that the merger of O2 Ireland’s business with Three Ireland will be good for both competition and consumers in Ireland and is confident that the merger will be approved by the Commission.

Three Ireland has had open and constructive discussions with the Commission throughout the first phase of the merger review process. It expects to continue to work closely with the Commission to obtain clearance for the acquisition.

The Irish market has suffered for many years from under investment in broadband infrastructure as a result of the structure of the market itself, characterised by one market leader and three other MNOs suffering from low or negative profitability. The merger with O2 Ireland will give Three Ireland the scale necessary to invest more heavily in its network infrastructure and compete more aggressively as the challenger in the market. Consumers will benefit from the merger through wider accelerated LTE roll out, improved quality of service and attractive and innovative pricing.

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