October 2014: Three Networks Left In Germany

A little note today so I can search more easily for it in the future that October 2014 was the month when the EU sanctioned merger of Telefonica O2 Germany and KPN's E-Plus was finalized from a contractual point of view. While the networks of the formerly two independent companies are still separate, this effectively reduces the competition from 4 mobile network infrastructures to 3 once O2 starts integrating the two separate networks.

Yes, the EU has put some conditions in place to 'ensure' (in their opinion) continued competition. I doubt, however, that even the most important one in the form of putting a capacity reseller in place for a certain percentage of the united O2 and E-Plus will do much in this regard. The business practices of the company that got the contract in the past has, well lets says, been somewhat unusual and even apart from that, it still doesn't make up for the fact that infrastructure competition is seriously hampered by this move.

So no, I'm not happy about this decision at all and I really hope that I will be proven wrong. But it's only hope as up to today, there aren't too many examples in Europe, if any, where competition with three incumbent network infrastructures in a country have led to a healthy price level and adequate coverage.

So let's see how the mobile landscape will look like in Germany 2 years and 5 years down the road from now.

2 thoughts on “October 2014: Three Networks Left In Germany”

  1. The Austrian example, where 4 networks were also reduced to 3 last year, teaches us that the German mobile landscape will probably change in the short term in a straightforward way: mobile tariffs will go up…

    From that perspective, not a good development for customers.

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