Lithuania watchdog won’t bark at Bite

Lithuania watchdog won’t bark at Bite

Lithuania’s antitrust regulator has granted conditional clearance to mobile provider Bite’s proposed acquisition of the state-owned business MEZON.

MEZON is a subsidiary of the Lithuanian Radio and Television Centre (LRTC, or Telecentras) that provides IPTV and commercial broadband. Bite applied for clearance to acquire MEZON in July 2020, with the proposal encompassing the unit’s services and branding, as well as assets such as its network, spectrum, sales network, employees and customers.

TeleGeography notes that Bite had already signed a deal in May 2020 to acquire Telecentras’s internet, data and IPTV operations for €20 million (US$23.5 million). The approval for the full acquisition of MEZON hinges on access to the unit’s spectrum.

Together with Tele2, Bite operates a joint infrastructure firm named Centuria. Lithuania’s Competition Council is keen to ensure that MEZON’s 2.3GHz and 2.6GHz spectrum is neither leased by nor transferred to this firm so that competition is not stifled in the market, and has hence attached this condition to its approval of the acquisition.

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