January 29, 2010 / 5:46 PM / 9 years ago

EU clears Telefonica buy of Germany's HanseNet

BRUSSELS, Jan 29 (Reuters) - Spanish telecoms operator Telefonica (TEF.MC) won EU regulatory approval on Friday for its acquisition of German broadband company HanseNet to reinforce its position in the highly competitive German market.

Telefonica, Europe’s largest telecoms company, said in November that it was paying 900 million euros to Telecom Italia (TLIT.MI) for HanseNet, the fourth-largest DSL service provider in Germany.

“The Commission found that in view of their different business focuses, Telefónica and Hansenet are not major competitors for each other in any of the relevant markets,” the European Union’s executive arm said in a statement.

It added that the relationship between the merged entity would be limited and that it would continue to face a number of strong and effective competitors, including the incumbent operator Deutsche Telekom (DTEGn.DE).

The acquisition is expected to boost Telefonica’s local unit O2 Germany as a relevant player, with forecast combined sales of 5 billion euros. (Reporting by Bate Felix)

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