Potential ‘remedies’ for Spain’s Orange–MásMóvil merger draw in Digi


Digi Communications have expressed interest in taking ownership of MásMóvil’s mobile assets if the European Commission (EC) mandates their divestment as part of merger conditions

Earlier this summer, the EC extended its investigation into the potential $19 billion merger of Orange and MásMóvil in Spain, saying they needed more time to assess the true impact of reducing the country’s mobile market from four players to three.

Since then, speculation around the kinds of conditions that the EC may attach to the deal has been rife, with reports suggesting that the EC was preparing a ‘statement of objections’ to present to the operators.

Against the backdrop of these rumours, numerous smaller companies have begun to voice their interest in purchasing the operators’ assets, should they be forced to offload them as part of the EC’s merger stipulations.

These companies include Spanish national mobile and broadband providers Finetwork, Avatel, and Adamo, who have all sought to position themselves as the ideal third party for such dealmaking over the past few months.

More recently, this group of communications service providers have been joined by Romanian telecoms group Digi Communications, whose CEO Serghei Bulgac last month suggested the merger presented a huge opportunity.

“This an important transformative moment for the Spanish market, with the market possibly going from four large players to three large players, and if there is an opportunity… for us to play a part in this process, we will certainly be interested,” he told journalists on an earnings call.

This week, in fact, the company’s interest has been taken one step further, with Digi Spain’s CEO Marius Varzaru saying the company would invest €2 billion if it were to receive MásMóvil’s spectrum and mobile network as part of the merger.

Varzaru told Spanish newspaper El Mundo that the company’s investment in rolling out 5G and fibre networks strengthen the national economy, as well as generating roughly 1,500 jobs. He further argued that Spain needed “four strong mobile operators”, saying that Digi was well positioned to fill that role.

For now, it remains unclear exactly what remedies will be offered by the EC to facilitate the merger, but the wider industry’s interest in MásMóvil’s assets could not be more obvious.

How is the European Commission’s attitude towards telecoms consolidation shifting in 2023? Join the operators in discussion with regulators at this year’s Total Telecom Congress live in Amsterdam

Also in the news:
Altafiber raises $600m in funding for fibre expansion
CityFibre’s network rollout passes 3 million UK premises
Vodafone to begin UK’s largest Open RAN rollout 

Recent Posts