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Hutchison wins EU approval for $2.9 billion Wind Tre deal

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BRUSSELS (Reuters) – CK Hutchison <0001.HK> secured approval from EU antitrust regulators on Friday for its 2.45 billion euro (2.20 billion pounds) deal to buy out Veon from their Italian joint venture Wind Tre.

Hutchison said in July it would buy full control of the Italian venture from Veon <VON.AS> as the Amsterdam-based telecoms operator looked to cut debt and focus on emerging markets.

The European Commission said Hutchison’s pledge to uphold conditions attached to the deal when Veon and Hutchinson merged their mobile operations two years ago had addressed its concerns about Hutchinson’s sole ownership of the asset, confirming a Reuters story on Aug. 23.

Wind Tre agreed to divest radio frequencies, and transfer or share mobile base station sites to help France’s Iliad <ILD.PA>, which operates Italy’s fourth-largest mobile network.

“Today’s decision confirms that the structural remedies accepted by the Commission in order to clear the creation of Wind Tre in 2016 were effective,” European Commissioner for Competition Margarethe Vestager said in a statement.

“It is important to ensure full implementation of those remedies so that Italian consumers can continue to enjoy high quality mobile services at fair prices.”

(Reporting by Foo Yun Chee; Editing by David Goodman and Mark Potter)

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