The Commission has cleared under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed acquisition of the Spanish and Italian subsidiaries of the Swedish telecommunications group Tele2 AB by the UK-based telecommunications group Vodafone. The Commission concluded that the transaction would not significantly impede effective competition in the European Economic Area (EEA) or any substantial part of it.

Vodafone is the holding company of a group of companies involved in the operation of mobile telecommunications networks and the provision of related services in several EU Member States, including Italy and Spain. In both Italy and Spain, Vodafone is mainly active as a provider of mobile communications services and is the second largest mobile operator.

Tele2 Italy and Tele2 Spain are alternative providers of fixed line telephony services and internet connection services including broadband services in their respective countries.

The parties' activities only overlap in the retail market for fixed broadband internet access and in the retail market for telephony services at a fixed location, both in Italy and in Spain. The Commission's examination of the proposed transaction showed that the combined entity's share would be limited in those markets (below 10%) and that the incremental share of Vodafone would be small. The Commission also found that the transaction would have no adverse competitive impact on the wholesale markets for access to mobile networks and for termination on fixed and mobile networks in Italy and Spain. [27 November 2007]