The European Commission has approved unconditionally, under the EU Merger Regulation, the creation of a joint venture by Deutsche Telekom AG Orange SA, Telefónica S.A. and Vodafone Group plc. The joint venture will offer a platform to support brands and publishers’ digital marketing and advertising activities in France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK.
Based on its market investigation, the Commission found that the transaction, as notified, would not significantly reduce competition in French, German, Italian and Spanish markets for: (i) the supply of digital identification services for targeted advertising and/or site optimisation; (ii) the retail supply of mobile telecommunications services; (iii) the retail supply of fixed internet access services; (iv) the retail supply of audio-visual services; and (v) the supply of online advertising space.
The Commission therefore concluded that the transaction would raise no competition concerns in the EEA and cleared the case unconditionally. During its investigation, the Commission has been in contact with data protection authorities. Data protection rules are fully applicable, irrespective of the merger clearance.
A press release is available online.