Austrian technology website FutureZone.at claims that it has uncovered an official 101-page document approving Hutchison Whampoa’s proposed EUR1.40 billion (USD1.87 billion) deal to buy France Telecom-Orange’s Austrian mobile unit, potentially paving the way for the successful conclusion of the controversial, long-running merger. Despite Hutchison’s acquiescence to a number of regulatory clauses, European Union (EU) antitrust regulators continue to scrutinise the deal, and seek further operational assurances from H3G’s Hong Kong-owned parent company. When quizzed about the provenance of the document, however, Austria’s Regulatory Authority for Telecoms and Broadcasting (RTR) refuted suggestions that it should be considered a concrete statement of intent, saying that approval is still some way off.
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