EU antitrust concerns on Telefonica's German buy

BRUSSELS (AP) - The European Union's antitrust authority has formally outlined concerns that Telefonica's proposed 8.55 billion-euro ($11.7 billion) purchase of German mobile operator E-Plus may violate competition rules.

EU Commission spokesman Antoine Colombani said Thursday a confidential letter detailing the competition concerns has been sent to the companies involved.

He says the so-called statement of objections will allow Telefonica to outline how it expects to address the concerns.

The Commission, which acts as the 28-nation bloc's antitrust authority, will decide by mid-May whether to allow the takeover bid.

Telefonica agreed to purchase the German E-Plus business from Dutch telecommunications company Royal KPN NV in August, after winning the support of KPN's biggest shareholder, Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim.

Telefonica plans to merge E-Plus with its own German arm.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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