Plans to acquire the third-largest mobile operator in Belgium from KPN at a cost of €1.35 billion were announced in April.
The Commission is concerned the acquisition would lead to a reduction in competition in the Belgian market.
Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy, commented: “Consumers increasingly depend on reliable and competitive telecoms services to keep in touch and to access information. We want to make sure that consumers in Belgium do not suffer higher prices and less choice as a result of this proposed takeover”.
Telenet does not operate its own mobile network; instead it has an MVNO arrangement with the Mobistar network.
The Commission has concerns that the transaction would remove an important competitive force and that the merged entity would have limited incentives to exercise significant competitive pressure on the two main remaining competitors in the retail mobile market (Proximus and Mobistar).
It’s also concerned the agreement would increase Telenet’s ability to sell its own fixed line services to Base customers.