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O2 Ireland takeover deal for EU approval

Friday, May 16 16:16:28

European Union competition regulators are poised to clear Hutchison Whampoa's $1 billion bid for Telefonica's Irish unit as soon as it signs a deal with a Liberty Global unit.

This is according to two people with knowledge of the matter.

"Now it is just putting together all the details," one of the people said.

The other major concession includes continuing a network sharing agreement with Ireland's third biggest operator, Eircom's subsidiary Meteor.

Hong Kong-based conglomerate Hutchison, controlled by Asia's richest man, Li Ka-shing, wants to reinforce its position in Europe where it operates in six countries.

The acquisition of Telefonica's O2 Ireland will make Hutchison the second biggest mobile operator in Ireland, behind Vodafone.

Hutchison secured EU approval for its Orange Austria takeover two years ago with similar concessions.