The European Commission (EC) has extended the deadline for its investigation into Telefonica’s acquisition of E-Plus, the German mobile unit of KPN, Reuters quotes EC spokesman for competition policy, Antoine Colombani, as saying. Brussels originally said it would make a decision on whether to approve the EUR8.55 billion (USD11.8 billion) deal by 14 May, but this deadline has now been pushed back to 28 May, giving the Spanish company more time to submit concessions. Netherlands-based KPN agreed to sell E-Plus to Telefonica in July 2013 and in December the EC opened an in-depth investigation into the transaction, which if allowed would reduce the number of network operators from four to three, with the enlarged Telefonica becoming the market leader ahead of Telekom Deutschland and Vodafone Germany. If concluded, KPN will receive EUR5.0 billion in cash and a 20.5% stake in the combined entity, though it would be forced to give up some of its mobile spectrum in the 900MHz and 1800MHz bands, German telecoms regulator the Federal Network Agency said earlier this week.
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