ORANGE and MasMovil have formally announced their intention to merge their businesses in Spain.
It would make them the largest mobile/telecoms operator in the country and informal talks have been going on for a year.
Such a merger would be subject to approval by competitions regulator, the CNMC.
The 50-50 venture is valued at around €19.6 billion.
The combined entity would generate annual revenues of more than €7.5 billion.
The new company would have over 20 million mobile customers and 7 million fixed-line subscribers.
Orange CEO Stephane Richard said: “I look forward to creating this joint-venture with MasMovil, building on our existing successful collaboration, to become a stronger player capable of making the investments required to develop the Spanish market.”
MasMovil CEO, Meinrad Spenger, said: “The combination of Orange and Masmovil would be beneficial for the consumers, the telecom sector and Spanish society as a whole.”
Competition in the mobile market is very fierce in Spain with consumers regularly bombarded by ‘cold calls’ from the major firms pleading for them to leave their current service provider.
Orange, Vodafone and Telefonica have all seen their revenues slide in recent times.
The carriers have repeatedly called for market consolidation to reduce competition and boost operators’ profitability at a time they need money to invest into the rollout of 5G mobile telecom infrastructure.
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