EU clears Telia acquisition of Sonera

  • 2002-07-18
  • Agence France-Presse

The European Commission said it had conditionally cleared Swedish telecom operator Telia's purchase of Finnish rival Sonera, giving the green light to the first merger between two previously nationalized telecom operators in Europe.

But the clearance was conditional on Telia selling its Finnish mobile operations and its cable television business in Sweden. The two companies must also legally separate their mobile, fixed-line and services businesses.

The commission said its investigation showed there would be direct overlaps in Finland for mobile communications services to retail customers, wholesale international roaming and wireless local area network.

Telia and Sonera announced plans to merge in March, a deal that is expected to create the largest telecom operator in the Nordic-Baltic market.