Press conference by Joaquín Almunia on the acquisition of Austrian mobile phone operator Orange by H3G
On 10 December 2012, Joaquín Almunia, Vice-President of the EC in charge of Competition, gave, in Strasbourg, a press conference on the European Commission's approval under the EU Merger Regulation of the proposed acquisition of Orange's mobile telephony business in Austria by Hutchison 3G (H3G). The approval is conditional upon the implementation of a commitments package that will facilitate the entry of new players into the Austrian mobile telecommunications market. The Commission had concerns that the elimination of one out of only four mobile network operators in Austria could have led to less competition and higher prices, to the detriment of end consumers. To address these concerns, H3G submitted remedies, offering in particular to divest radio spectrum and related rights and to provide wholesale access to its network. In light of these commitments, the Commission concluded that the transaction would no longer raise competition concerns.