Iliad’s Play buy gets the go-ahead

Iliad’s Play buy gets the go-ahead

The European Commission has given Iliad the green light to acquire Poland’s Play after concluding that the deal would not impede fair competition.

Iliad first revealed its €3.5 billion bid to acquire Polish market leader Play - along with its debt burden - in September this year. Iliad has disrupted the French and Italian markets, launching against established operators with aggressive pricing strategies reminiscent of India’s Reliance Jio.

Observing that the companies are active in different countries, the EC stated that an “absence of horizontal overlaps” meant that Iliad would not become overly dominant in Poland’s market. The commission reached its decision within its previously stated timeframe.

One of Iliad’s first moves as Play’s owner was to agree the sale of a 60% stake in Play’s infrastructure unit to Spanish tower firm Cellnex Telecom for €800 million (US$948 million). According to CommsUpdate, Cellnex will take the holding in a newly formed company that controls Play’s 7000 tower sites.

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