Vodafone Spain slams Telefónica Canal+ acquisition

Pedro Peña

Pedro Peña

Spain’s competition watchdog must prohibit Telefónica’s acquisition of pay TV operator Canal+ or at least subject it to stricter conditions, according to rival service provider Vodafone Spain’s director of legal and regulatory affairs, Pedro Peña.

Peña said there was no point in having an extensive network if there was nothing to distribute on that network, and that it was not only necessary to have a powerful infrastructure to distribute data but also to distribute television.

Competition regulator the CNMC initiated the second phase of its investigation into the acquisition in November, seeking the views of companies in affected markets.

Peña welcomed the decision by the CNMC to regulate Telefónica’s fibre network, forcing it to open up to competitors in all but nine major cities, but criticized the decision to exempt the nine.

Telefónica has threatened to scale down its fibre rollout plans for this year, cutting plans to roll out to 5.5 million homes down to a target of 3.5 million.  Peña attacked the operator for conducting its campaign against the regulation through the press and for raising the threat of reduced investment in infrastructure and an adverse economic impact as a result of the regulator’s move.

Vodafone, which owns Spain’s largest cable operator Ono and has invested in its own fibre infrastructure, is Telefónica‘s major competitor in the Spanish market.

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