EC opens in-depth investigation into Orange Jazztel acquisition

jazztelEuropean regulators are to open an in-depth investigation into Orange’s proposed acquisition of Spanish service provider Jazztel. 

Orange announced in September that it planned to acquire the Spanish fixed-line telco to strengthen its position in the Spanish market.

The French telecom leader said that the EC had decided to pursue the review because it did not consider that a sufficiently thorough analysis of a market that is undergoing profound change could be completed within the limited timeframe of a Phase 1 examination.

“This decision will enable the European Commission and Orange to continue their discussion of the overall analysis of the Spanish market: its rapid evolution towards convergence, very high-speed fixed broadband and content distribution,” said Orange in a statement.

“The time limit for this new phase of the proceeding is already included in the schedule for the deal. Orange maintains its ambition to close the operation during the first half of 2015.”

Orange said it would continue the process of acquiring the operator and reaffirmed “its confidence in the favourable outcome of this deal, which aims to give rise to the market’s second-ranked fixed broadband operator and one of the most dynamic players in the Spanish mobile market”.

Orange CEO Stéphane Richard, speaking to journalists at the Sommet de l’Economie event in Paris, reportedly expressed surprise at the EC move but said he was confident his group would complete the acquisition.