EU regulators set to clear Hutchison, O2 Ireland deal

Friday 16 May 2014 16.34
The deal for O2 Ireland will make Hutchison Whampoa the second biggest mobile operator in Ireland
The deal for O2 Ireland will make Hutchison Whampoa the second biggest mobile operator in Ireland

European Union competition regulators are poised to clear Hutchison Whampoa's $1 billion bid for Telefonica's Irish unit as soon as it signs a deal with a Liberty Global unit.

This is according to two people with knowledge of the matter.

"Now it is just putting together all the details," one of the people said.

The other major concession includes continuing a network sharing agreement with Ireland's third biggest operator, Eircom's subsidiary Meteor.

Hong Kong-based conglomerate Hutchison, controlled by Asia's richest man, Li Ka-shing, wants to reinforce its position in Europe where it operates in six countries.

The acquisition of Telefonica's O2 Ireland will make Hutchison the second biggest mobile operator in Ireland, behind Vodafone. 

European Commission spokesman for competition policy, Antoine Colombani, and Hutchison Whampoa spokesman Neil McMillan declined to comment.

Hutchison secured EU approval for its Orange Austria takeover two years ago with similar concessions.