Vodafone Portugal has said it disagrees with the draft ruling giving approval of Sonaecom’s proposed takeover of Portugal Telecom. The country’s second largest mobile operator says that the conditions placed by regulators on the merger, which include the separation of PT’s fixed line and cable networks, will not redress the effect on competition seen in the cellular sector. In a statement, Vodafone said: ‘The reinforcement of the heavily dominant position resulting from the merger of TMN and Optimus will create significant obstacles to competition in the mobile communications market which will seriously compromise its quality and growth, to the undeniable detriment of consumers.” TMN is owned by PT and leads Portugal’s cellular market, with around 50% of the country’s eleven million subscribers, while Optimus, which is wholly owned by Sonaecom, lies in third place with an 11% share. Vodafone plans to send its comments on the draft ruling to the competition watchdog AdC before a final decision is issued.
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