The European Commission (EC), the executive body of the European Union (EU), has approved the acquisition of Bulgarian mobile operator Cosmo Bulgaria Mobile (trading as GloBul) and its integrated telecom retailer Germanos Telecom by Norwegian telecoms group Telenor, under the EU Merger Regulation procedure. According to a press release posted on the EC’s website, the activities of the parties involved do not overlap in any of the markets for the provision of telecoms services since they are active in different geographic areas. The Commission ruled that the proposed transaction would not hinder competition in the wholesale international roaming services market, as the number of the active players will remain unchanged. Further, the EC also concluded that the proposed transaction would not raise any competition concerns on the markets for fixed and mobile termination services, as a substantial proportion of international calls are made through international carriers and the traffic volume concerned is insignificant.
Following the ruling, Telenor appointed Stein-Erik Vellan, former head of Telenor Norway’s mobile division, as Globul’s new CEO. Kjell Morten Johnsen, executive vice president and head of region Europe at Telenor said: ‘I am confident that [Mr Stein-Erik Vellan’s] experience as former CEO of Telenor Serbia and regional knowledge will benefit GloBul in further developing the company’s position as the country’s second-largest mobile operator’.