A number of leading Irish newspapers claim that Hong Kong-based telecoms conglomerate Hutchison Whampoa is looking to re-submit a EUR2 billion (USD2.6 billion) bid for the country’s faltering former monopoly Eircom, and that it will drop a number of the conditions which caused its earlier bid to be rejected. According to The Sunday Times, Hutch, which owns and operates mobile operator 3 Ireland, would drop all conditions – barring due diligence – while the Sunday Independent reports that the company would invest EUR1.3 billion in upgrading Eircom’s services. Purchasing Eircom would be a significant leg-up for Hutch, given that 3 Ireland currently lags behind Vodafone, O2 and Meteor in the domestic market, despite investing about EUR800 million on building out its 3G network. Hutchison Whampoa and Eircom both declined to comment on the rumours.
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