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Three Ireland statement following the European Commission’s decision to move to a Phase 2 review of
the acquisition of O2 Ireland

Dublin 6th November 2013 - Three Ireland notes that the European Commission has today decided to move to a Phase 2 examination of the proposed acquisition of Telefónica Ireland Limited (“O2 Ireland”). The Commission’s decision to open an in-depth investigation is not unexpected in the context of previous statements by the Commission that it would take a close look at in-country telecoms mergers and does not in any way prejudge the final outcome of the Commission’s review. Three believes that the merger of O2 Ireland's business with Three Ireland will be good for both competition and consumers in Ireland and is confident that the merger will be approved by the Commission. 

Three Ireland has had open and constructive discussions with the Commission throughout the first phase of the merger review process. It expects to continue to work closely with the Commission to obtain clearance for the acquisition.

The Irish market has suffered for many years from underinvestment in broadband infrastructure as a result of the structure of the market itself, characterised by one market leader and three other MNOs suffering from low or negative profitability. The merger with O2 Ireland will give Three Ireland the scale necessary to invest more heavily in its network infrastructure and compete more aggressively as the challenger in the market. Consumers will benefit from the merger through wider accelerated LTE roll out, improved quality of service and attractive and innovative pricing. 


For further information please contact:

Murray Consultants
Mark Brennock
Tel: +353-87 2335923

Three Ireland
Joanna Kavanagh
Tel: +353 0-83 403 2173

Note to editors
About Three Ireland:  Three is 100% owned by Hutchison Whampoa Ltd. (HWL), a renowned multinational conglomerate committed to innovation and technology. Its diverse businesses employ over a quarter of a million people in 52 countries worldwide. Launched in Ireland in 2005, Three was the first to launch mobile broadband in Ireland and Three is now the mobile broadband leader. In December 2008, Three won the Government contract to roll-out broadband to the remaining 10% of the country. The scheme was completed on time and to budget in December 2010.

About the acquisition: Three Ireland announced on 24 June 2013 that an agreement had been reached to acquire 100% of O2 Ireland, a wholly owned subsidiary of Telefónica S.A.