Green light for Zon-Optimus merger

Portugal’s Competition Authority – Autoridade da Concorrência – has approved a merger between quad-play provider Zon Multimedia and Sonaecom’s mobile unit Optimus.

The two companies said that they have been informed of the Authority’s non-opposition to the consolidation process, with the confirmation of the previously announced five conditions.

The conditions include: Optimus extends the duration period of the network sharing agreement with Vodafone Portugal; Optimus will not charge its triple-play fibre customers the payment of the amounts due by virtue of the loyalty clauses in force; Optimus will negotiate an agreement for the wholesale access to its fibre network with a third party; and Optimus will negotiate with Vodafone Portugal a call option agreement for the purchase of Sonaecom’s fibre network.

All interested parties now have 10 days to pronounce themselves regarding the decision.

The merger will create the second biggest operator in Portugal, behind Portugal Telecom, with overall revenues that reached €1.6 billion (including €8.8 million revenues in Angola) in 2012. Optimus is the third largest mobile telephony operator in Portugal with nearly 3.6 million customers at end-2012. For its part, Zon Multimedia had 150,000 customers for its MVNO operation, 888,000 broadband customers, 1.6 million pay-TV customers and 1.2 million fixed telephony customers at the end of last year.

The merged company will be controlled by a joint-venture between Sonaecom and the main shareholder of Zon Multimedia, Angolan businesswoman Isabel dos Santos.

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