MADRID, Dec. 12 (-) –
Digi has closed a 120 million euro agreement with MásMóvil for the acquisition of a total of 60 megahertz (MHz) of radio space in different frequency bands, a move that is expected to facilitate the merger between Orange and MásMóvil in Spain. which still has to be approved by the European Commission.
As indicated by the Romanian operator in a statement, it has signed a spectrum transfer contract related to the transmission by Xfera Móviles (MásMóvil) of the spectrum licenses for two 10 MHz blocks in the 1,800 MHz band, another two of 10 MHz in the 2,100 MHz band and 20 MHz in the 3,500 MHz band.
“The spectrum transfer agreement has been concluded in the context of the merger control procedure led by the European Commission for the approval of a merger by which Lorca JVCo Limited and Orange will create and acquire joint control of a joint venture with full functions integrated by their respective Spanish telecommunications operators,” adds the Digi statement.
In this context, Digi has closed another agreement with Orange by which the latter grants the Romanian operator the option to enter into a “national roaming service agreement” in the future for the provision by Orange to Digi of a wholesale service. .
This latest agreement would allow Digi to access “all technologies” available on the mobile network of Orange or its subsidiaries, including MásMóvil, in Spain.
“The transfer of the spectrum licenses and the granting of the option are subject, among others, to the completion of the transaction between Orange and MasMovil, which requires the approval of the European Commission,” Digi clarified.
At the end of last July, the European Commission stopped “the clock” in its investigation into the merger between Orange and MásMóvil in Spain because the companies had not provided certain “important information” requested by Brussels on time, which is why it was expanded ‘sine die’ the initial deadline to make the decision, originally set for September 4.
Last April, Brussels began an in-depth investigation to determine whether the operation, which will create a new leader for customers in Spain, could put at risk competition in the offer of multiple service packages and in the retail mobile and fixed broadband service. .
At the end of last June, Brussels withdrew its considerations about the impact that this operation could have on the wholesale market, that is, in relation to an operator offering its networks to others.
However, he noted that he fears that this operation will reduce the number of network operators in the Spanish retail markets for mobile telecommunications and internet services and this will result in “large price increases” for end customers.
In this context, it is expected that Brussels’ final decision on this operation – valued at around 18.6 billion euros – will be known between the end of this year and the beginning of 2024.