Hutchison 3G acquires Orange Austria, subject to conditions

The European Commission approved the acquisition of Orange Austria by Hutchison 3G Austria, subject to the divestment of frequencies and a commitment to offer low wholesale access fees to mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs). CRA advised Orange Austria throughout proceedings with the EC and Austrian competition authority, which focused on the potential price effects resulting from the reduction of the number of network operators in the Austrian mobile telecommunications market from four to three. The approved remedy package is expected to reduce entry barriers for potential new entrants and encourage competition at the retail level.