Press Release: Mergers: Commission clears the creation of a mobile payments joint venture by Bitė, Tele2 and Telia in Lithuania

The European Commission has approved, under the EU Merger Regulation, the creation of a joint venture by UAB Bitė Lietuva (Bitė), UAB Tele2 (Tele2) and Telia Lietuva AB (Telia), all of Lithuania. The joint venture will provide mobile payment services to businesses and consumers in Lithuania. Bitė is controlled by the US investment firm Providence Equity. Tele2 is part of the Tele2 Group, ultimately controlled by the Swedish investment company Kinnevik. Telia is part of the Swedish Telia Company AB. Bitė, Tele2 and Telia are active in the supply of retail mobile telecommunications services in Lithuania. In addition, Telia provides colocation services in Lithuania, hosting other companies’ servers in its data centers. The Commission assessed the impact of the transaction on the nascent market for mobile payment services in Lithuania.The Commission concluded that the transaction would raise no competition concerns given the minor overlap between the joint venture’s envisaged activities and the parents’ potential activities in the supply of mobile payment services. Moreover, the Commission found that the joint venture’s parents would not have the ability, or incentive, to shut out rivals, in particular due to the presence of alternative means for competitors of the joint venture to securely store information and to authenticate users. The transaction was examined under the normal merger review procedure. More information is available on the Commission’s competition website, in the public case register under the case number M.8251(For more information: Ricardo Cardoso – Tel.: +32 229 80100; Maria Sarantopoulou – Tel.: +32 229 13740)

Source: European Commission

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