European Commission clears acquisition of German ISP

The European Commission today approved of the acquisition of an Internet service provider by a major phone company in Germany.

The EC ruled that the acquisition of Hansenet Telekommunikation GmbH by Telefónica Deutschland GmbH “would not significantly impede effective competition in the European Economic Area (EEA) or any substantial part of it.”

The Commission examined the effects of the proposed transaction on the provision of broadband Internet access as well as on mobile and fixed telephony and ruled that, in view of their different business focuses, Telefónica and Hansenet are not major competitors to each other. Moreover, the EC ruled, the combined firm would continue to face a number of strong, effective competitors, including the incumbent telephony operator Deutsche Telekom.

Telefónica Deutschland GmbH is a unit of the Telefónica Group, which is a fixed and mobile telephony operator in Spain, the Czech Republic, Germany, Ireland ,the UK, Slovakia and several Latin American countries.