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COMCO approves acquisition of Sunrise by Liberty Global

Following a one month Phase I examination, COMCO unconditionally approved the planned acquisition of Sunrise Communications Group Ltd. by Liberty Global for an enterprise on 30 October 2020. From a competition law perspective, the planned acquisition can now be implemented.

The planned acquisition for an enterprise value of CHF 6.8 billion will create the second largest telecommunications company in Switzerland. Like the incumbent operator Swisscom, the merged entity will have its own mobile and fixed network infrastructure. Absent the threat of the elimination of effective competition in any affected market, in particular by a collective dominance between the merged entity and Swisscom, the Swiss Competition Commission (COMCO) cleared the acquisition without any remedies.

One year ago, Sunrise planned to take over the Swiss Liberty Global subsidiary UPC. The COMCO examined this transaction in depth and, following a Phase II examination, approved it without any remedies. Subsequently, however, the majority of the shareholders rejected the acquisition. For the reverse transaction, the COMCO again examined the market conditions, which according to its assessment remained largely unchanged.

CORE Attorneys advised Sunrise in this transaction with regard to certain merger control and telecoms regulation aspects. The team included Mario Strebel (Partner) and Fabian Koch (Partner) that already successfully supported Sunrise in last year’s merger control proceeding concerning the reverse transaction. CORE Attorneys congratulate all parties involved and wish the merged entity a successful start.

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CORE Attorneys is a boutique law firm in Switzerland, focusing on competition/antitrust law, regulatory and distribution law matters. Visit our News & Insights and follow us on LinkedIn for regular updates on all our focus areas.