EU Halts Review of Hutchison-O2 Deal to Seek Revised Concessions

The European Union paused its review of Hutchison Whampoa Ltd. (13)’s bid to buy Telefonica SA’s O2 unit in Ireland as the regulator seeks revisions to concessions the company made to win approval for the tie-up.

Hutchison and the EU agreed on a short suspension to allow the company to work on changes to the company’s offer and for the European Commission to examine them, the company said in a statement. The EU previously had a May 19 deadline to make a final decision on the deal.

“The clock was stopped yesterday until we obtain the information we requested from the parties,” Antoine Colombani, a spokesman for the European Commission, said in an e-mail. He declined to give further details.

Billionaire Li Ka-Shing’s Hutchison last month offered to help a smaller rival become a fourth operator in the country to overcome EU concerns that the O2 deal would cut to three the number of operators that run their own network.

To contact the reporter on this story: Aoife White in Brussels at awhite62@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Anthony Aarons at aaarons@bloomberg.net Peter Chapman, Lindsay Fortado

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