CCA launches in-depth probe of Slovenia Broadband and Tele2 merger

The Croatian Competition Agency (CCA) decided to open a compatibility assessment proceeding regarding the implementation of concentration between the undertakings Slovenia Broadband and Tele2.

After the complete notification of the concentration was received by the CCA on 22 October 2019, it published a request for information aimed at all interested parties with regard to the implementation of the concentration in question.

One undertaking replied to the CCA’s request for information and submitted its observations about the possible anticompetitive effects the proposed concentration. The comments also involved the opinion of an independent legal expert.

In its opinion the interested undertaking stated that given the market power of the connected undertakings the implementation of concentration could produce significant anticompetitive effects in certain relevant markets. Additionally, in the view of the interested undertaking, the competition concerns may also arise due to likely spill-over effects of the connected undertakings of Slovenia Broadband from the media market to the telecommunications market, creating possible barriers on the wholesale markets and the connected retail markets, taking into account that the provision of electronic communication services and their grow is linked with the likely use of TV services and contents provided by these services.

With the view to establishing all the necessary facts of the case the CCA will ask the notifying party – Slovenia Broadband to comment on the arguments and observations of the interested party and investigate further whether the proposed deal may reduce competition in the areas concerned.

Taking everything into account, the CCA decided to initiate the compatibility assessment proceeding in Phase II which marks the mandatory three-month-period in which it will take its final decision on the compatibility of the merger between Slovenia Broadband and Tele2.