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Hutch set to sue EU over failed O2 takeover

James Pearce
July 29, 2016

European Commission blocked £10.25 billion bid over competition concerns but Three-owner confirms it has launched a legal challenge

Three-owner CK Hutchison is set to launch a legal bid against the European Commission over its decision to block a £10.25 billion takeover of O2.

The Hong Kong conglomerate confirmed it has issued proceedings against the EC at the European Court of Justice after Brussels prevented it from creating a new market leader in the UK in May.

European Commissioner Margrethe Vestager ruled against the bid to buy Telefonica’s UK assets, citing concerns about the impact on competition in the market.

Industry sources told the Telegraph that Hutchison could seek compensation, given that a tie-up with O2 seems unlikely given its agreement with Telefonica has now lapsed.

A spokesperson for CK Hutchison said: “CK Hutchison can confirm that it has lodged an appeal to the European General Court against the decision adopted by the European Commission on 11 May 2016 to prohibit CK Hutchison’s acquisition of O2 UK.”

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