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EU Commission OKs Telecom Merger

October 13, 1999

BRUSSELS, Belgium (AP) - The European Union’s executive Commission on Wednesday cleared a merger between the Swedish telecommunications company Telia AB and its Norwegian equivalent Telenor ASA after the two companies committed to a number of concessions to allay competition concerns.

In a statement, the Commission said the two companies had made ``far-reaching commitments″ to loosen their grip on the local telephone networks.

The companies also agreed to divest their respective cable TV businesses and other overlapping businesses, the statement said.

The Commission said the merger as it was originally notified would have caused serious competition concerns in a number of telecommunications and related services markets in Sweden and Norway, in the Irish mobile telephony market, and in a number of Swedish and Norwegian TV markets.

The Commission can block mergers which it judges violate EU competition rules.

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