CK Hutchison set to meet EC & rivals over O2 acquisition

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Reports claim the Three-owner will meet with regulators on March 7 over £10.25 billion buyout of UK rival

Three-owner CK Hutchison is set to meet with European regulators and rivals to discuss its proposed £10.25 billion takeover of O2 next week, according to reports.

Reuters claims representatives from the Hong Kong-based conglomerate will meet with representatives of the EU in a behind-closed-doors meeting arranged by the European Commission on March 7.

The meeting will also be attended by representatives from a number of other UK telecoms firms including Sky, Virgin Media, TalkTalk, Vodafone and BT, a source close to the matter told the news wire.

Doubt has been cast on the proposed acquisition from Telefonica, which would created the UK’s biggest mobile operator with more than 35 million connections, after Ofcom CEO Sharon White said she was opposed to the deal.

In response, CK Hutchison boos Canning Fok outlined plans for a five year price freeze in the UK.

The Three-owner is expected to face tough sanctions from European Competition Commissioner Margarethe Vestager when she rules on the deal. These could include forcing the combined entity to give up some of its spectrum, or to facilitate the creation of a new mobile operator in the UK.

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