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EU Says Firms Would Spur Communications Sharing Initiative

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Jan. 9 (Bloomberg) -- European Union antitrust regulators would need to assess any plans by telecommunications companies to share their infrastructure or networks, said Antoine Colombani, a spokesman for the European Commission.

Such a program “would be the initiative of these companies only and does not originate from the commission,” Colombani said in an e-mailed statement. “The effects on competition of such plans would have to be assessed.”

EU Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia met on Nov. 28 with representatives of Telefonica SA, Belgacom SA, Koninklijke KPN NV, Deutsche Telekom AG, France Telecom SA’s Orange and Telecom Italia SpA, Colombani said. While Almunia told the companies that it would be desirable to have a single market for telecommunications, the possibility of sharing infrastructure or networks wasn’t discussed at the meeting, Colombani said.

The FT reported earlier today that telecoms executives were talking about sharing their infrastructure networks in Europe.

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

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anthony Aarons at aaarons@bloomberg.net.

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