Telefonica’s takeover of KPN’s German carrier E-Plus has moved closer to finalization after the European Commission gave its blessing on Wednesday. However, the Commission’s approval is highly conditional – because the merger will reduce the number of network-owning German operators to three, Telefonica would need to sell 30 percent of the merged company’s network capacity to small virtual operators. It would also need to sell a new player some of its spectrum and other assets, and offer wholesale 4G services to “all interested players,” in order to preserve competition in the German market.
European competition chief Joaquin Almunia has reiterated his wish that his department examine Telefonica(s tef)’s proposed takeover of KPN’s E-Plus, which would create Germany’s largest network by subscriber count. Almunia said a week ago that he doesn’t want to leave the case in the hands of the German national regulator due to Telefonica and KPN’s size and importance at the EU level. On Friday, he added that the Commission would “likely continue to assess [mergers such as O2/E-Plus] on the basis of national markets — at least for some time.”
Carlos Slim’s carrier giant is trying to break out of the Americas. Taking a 30 percent stake in KPN was a start, but now it wants to get serious by slurping up the rest.
The deal would see Telefonica buy KPN’s E-Plus network. The combined O2 Deutschland and E-Plus would have 43.3 million subscribers, leapfrogging Deutsche Telekom and Vodafone to grab the number one spot.
Your Facebook or LinkedIn account doesn’t have a phone number, but one day it might if Tyntec has anything to say about it. The German company wants to build a virtual mobile phone into any Web 2.0 service, bridging the gap between over-the-top apps and mobile.
Orange, a UK ISP and mobile phone company, is reportedly close to signing a deal with an ad-supported mobile virtual network called Blyk that would offer certain Orange customers credits on their service in exchange for receiving text-based ads on their mobile phones. According to an article in New Media Age, Orange has been in talks with Blyk for months to offer subscribers aged 16-24 credits of £15 ($25) if they receive ads on their phones. The partnership looks similar to an effort by German carrier E-Plus to offer lower-cost mobile phone service to customers in exchange for ads. Read More about Do Lower Phone Bills Justify Ads on Your Mobile Phone?
German mobile operator E-Plus is shutting down its i-Mode service as of 1 April, one of the last major European networks to abandon the Japa…