EU opens probe into Hutchison takeover of Telefonica UK

AP News
Posted: Oct 30, 2015 1:15 PM

BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union will probe whether the proposed takeover of Telefonica U.K. by Hutchison of Hong Kong will abide by the bloc's antitrust rules.

Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-shing's flagship company has said it's offering about $15 billion for the British business of European mobile phone operator Telefonica.

EU Antitrust Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said Friday that with the "investigation we want to ensure that consumers in the U.K. do not pay higher prices or face less choice as a result of this proposed takeover."

The EU Commission noted that the takeover would combine "Telefonica U.K. with Three U.K., a subsidiary of Hutchison, which are respectively the second and the fourth largest mobile network operator in the UK," and together they would become the biggest.