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CK Hutchison statement in response to
the European General Court’s
Three UK/O2 merger appeal judgment


(28 May 2020, Hong Kong) CK Hutchison welcomes today’s judgment by the General Court of the European Court of Justice upholding the Group’s appeal against and annulling the European Commission’s decision in 2016 to prohibit the merger between Three UK and O2 UK.

In our appeal, we argued that the Commission’s approach to reviewing the proposed merger, and European telecoms mergers more broadly, was guided by a misconceived default view that European telecoms markets are better served by having a minimum of four Mobile Network Operators in each EU Member State.

This approach ignores market realities, the clear evidence of successful market consolidation in Europe and across the world as well as the very significant efficiencies in terms of increased investment, network improvements and consumer benefits that can be achieved from mobile mergers.   

The Commission’s approach has unfortunately acted as a brake on, or in a number of cases prevented, vital industry consolidation in Europe which would have resulted in significant new investment, innovation and benefits for European consumers and industry.

Following the Court’s findings, the Commission will need to fundamentally revisit its approach to merger reviews in this key sector.

We will study the General Court’s complex judgment in detail and comment more extensively as appropriate in due course.

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For inquiries, please contact:

CK Hutchison Holdings Limited
Hans Leung
Email: hansl@ckh.com.hk