EU antitrust regulators see no issues with Vodafone Hutchison mobile tie-up

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Vodafone and CK Hutchison’s $19 billion mobile merger in Britain does not pose any competition concerns to EU antitrust regulators, according to a European Commission filing.

The companies sought approval from the EU competition enforcer for their bid to create the UK’s biggest mobile operator on Oct. 30.

The Commission, which set a Dec. 6 deadline for its decision, is reviewing the deal under its simplified procedure.

It uses this procedures for mergers which are not likely to raise competition concerns and where clearance is a foregone conclusion.

The deal in contrast faces intense scrutiny from the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority because it will reduce the number of networks from four to three, a threshold which regulators worry could reduce competition.

(Reporting by Foo Yun Chee; Editing by Kirsten Donovan)