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VimpelCom and Wind obtain merger control approval in landmark telecommunications deal

01 September 2016

Allen & Overy has advised VimpelCom, parent company of Wind, on its 50/50 joint venture with CK Hutchison, parent company of Italian mobile operator 3 Italia. Merger control approval was granted today by the European Commission.

The merger – the largest in Italy since 2007 – combines Italy’s third and fourth largest telecommunications companies to create a leading Italian mobile network operator and comes at a time of increased merger control scrutiny following the appointment of Margrethe Vestager as EU Competition Commissioner in October 2014.

This is the first time the Commission has cleared a 4-to-3 mobile telecommunications consolidation since Commissioner Vestager took office, following the prohibition of Hutchison’s proposed acquisition of O2 in the UK in May 2016, and the abandonment in September 2015 of the Danish merger between TeliaSonera and Telenor after the parties failed to agree commitments to address the Commission’s concerns.

Antonio Bavasso, partner and co-head of the Global Antitrust practice, comments: “We are delighted to have assisted VimpelCom and Wind in obtaining merger control approval for this landmark deal in the Italian telecommunications sector.”

Tom Levine, partner and head of the Telecommunications practice, comments: “After the failed mergers in Denmark and the UK, it is reassuring to see this in-market consolidation approved. This is a large transaction for the parties, for Italian M&A, and for the European telecoms industry. We are delighted to have advised on another successful merger in the sector.”

For further information, please contact Antoinette Willcocks,, on +44 (0)20 3088 4638.