DFMonitor-PRO and public insights, research notes, reports, external articles 2010–2017
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Four year comparative study of unit prices in 4-MNO and in the 4 to 3 consolidated German & Austrian markets
2017
pricing
merger
Germany
Austria
Italy
Denmark
United Kingdom
France
Poland
Sweden
Netherlands
Hutchison
Telefonica
Iliad
Play
Tele2
Vimpelcom

January 2017
The gap between gigabyte prices in the 4 to 3 consolidated Austrian & German markets and prices in 4-MNO markets where no consolidation has taken place had substantially increased by September 2016

Tight oligopoly mobile markets in EU28 in 2016
2016
spectrum
networkeconomics
pricing
merger
mobile-first
zero-rating
Germany
DeutscheTelekom
Vodafone
Telefonica
Orange

December 2016
Fixed-line broadband interest, zero-rating video and big telco ownership impedes competition in mobile markets


Who’s afraid of the big bad wolf? Probably Telefonica and Hutchison
2016
United Kingdom
Hutchison
Iliad
Telefonica
merger

[External article, Telecom TV]
February 2016
"Here’s the deal. I think that Hutchison (owners of 3) will be willing to complete the merger with O2 even if it meant a new fourth operator had to be established in the market. But that would depend on who the operator was."

Effectiveness of MVNO wholesale access remedies
2016
MVNO
mergers
remedies

January 2016
Comprehensive analysis of commercial and merger mandated MVNO wholesale access frameworks and assessment of their efficacy in restoring effective competition in 4 to 3 mobile mergers

Tight oligopoly mobile markets in EU28 in 2015
2016
spectrum
pricing
merger
mobile-first
zero-rating
Germany
DeutscheTelekom
Vodafone
Telefonica
Orange

January 2016
Comprehensive analysis of factors that give rise to unilateral anti-competitive effects leading to non-competitive outcomes and consumer harm in tight mobile oligopolies.

Rewheel believe that the Commission will no longer accept MVNOs as an effective remedy in a merger situation
2015
Denmark
TeliaCompany
Telenor
MVNO
merger

[External article, Reuters]
September 2015
But in Denmark Vestager indicated that she wanted the creation of a new rival network owner, said Antonios Drossos, a consultant at Rewheel, which has opposed past mobile consolidation deals.

Telecoms antitrust decision sends chills from UK to Italy
2015
Denmark
United Kingdom
Italy
merger

[External article, POLITICO Europe]
September 2015
“Neither Almunia’s [wholesale access] remedy in German and Ireland nor the exotic joint venture proposed remedies by Telenor and TeliaSonera in Denmark can remove the competitions concerns entirely in a four-to-three mobile consolidation,” said Antonios Drossos, managing partner at Rewheel, a telecoms consultancy.

The 4 to 3 consolidation effect – Hutchison Three Italy halved the gigabytes in its flagship smartphone plan and launched its own zero-rated film store
2015
Italy
Vimpelcom
Hutchison
merger
zero-rating

September 2015
- Ahead of its planned merger with Wind in Italy Hutchison Three has halved the gigabytes in its flagship 4G LTE smartphone mobile internet access plan and launched its own zero-rated (unlimited gigabytes at €0/GB) film store.

European mobile telecoms - together we stand
2015
Austria
Hutchison
Orange
merger

[External article, The Economist, print edition]
August 2015
Antonios Drossos of Rewheel, a Finnish consulting firm, sees things differently. His firm analysed the prices customers paid in Austria and found some had risen by as much as 80% since the merger. “In any event,” he says, “customers should be getting more for less: the cost of mobile gigabytes has plummeted as operators get more spectrum, pay much less for network equipment and build more cells. The question is how much better a deal they would be offered now if a fourth operator were still in the market.”

The 4 to 3 consolidation effect – Hutchison Three UK doubled the price of its flagship smartphone plan
2015
Hutchison
Telefonica
United Kingdom
merger

August 2015
Ahead of its planned merger with Telefonica O2 in the UK Hutchison Three has more than doubled (+113%) the price of its flagship 4G LTE smartphone plan.

EU’s Margrethe Vestager hits out against telecoms consolidation
2015
Austria
Hutchison
Germany
Ireland
Telefonica
United Kingdom
Italy
TeliaSonera
Telenor
Denmark
merger

[External article, The Financial Times, subscription required]
June 2015
Margrethe Vestager, EU competition commissioner, has thrown down a marker of her intent to curtail consolidation in Europe’s telecoms industry by dismissing suggestions that a wave of big mergers is needed to boost investment. Research from Rewheel, a consultancy, suggests that prices rise sharply following merger approvals, citing the tie-up between Hutchison and Orange in Austria. However, telecoms executives retort that price rises tend to be matched by an increase in data capacity or improved services.

Appeal stokes telecoms merger controversy
2015
Germany
Telefonica
KPN
merger

[External article, POLITICO Europe]
June 2015
A small German mobile company has fired a legal salvo that could ricochet across the European telecoms industry with unknown consequences. “More competitors means lower prices for consumers and more investment into infrastructure,” said Antonios Drossos, managing partner at Rewheel, a telecoms consultancy. “Competition gives operators an incentive to differentiate themselves by investing.”

Austria becomes battleground in fight over mobile mergers
2015
Austria
Hutchison
merger

[External article, Reuters]
June 2015
"Everyone is having the first real conversation about the effects of the mergers on mobile prices, quality of service, and how to weigh these different objectives." Antonios Drossos, co-founder of Rewheel, thinks the methodology pushed by the big telecom companies is wrong and that remedies in Austria, Germany and Ireland are inadequate to ensure strong competition is maintained.

Telefónica’s KPN deal challenged over impact on competition
2015
Germany
Telefonica
KPN
merger

[External article, The Financial Times, subscription required]
June 2015
The €8.6bn acquisition by Telefónica of KPN’s German business is set to be contested in front of the EU general court after a rival argued that the deal had impaired competition in the country. The group also pointed to data from Finnish consulting company Rewheel that consolidation significantly increased mobile prices ... Rewheel said: “The European Commission approved the harmful four to three Telefónica E-Plus German merger by accepting ineffective commitments that could not remove the competition concerns entirely.”

Affordably priced 100 or unlimited gigabyte 4G LTE smartphone plans with tethering – Trouble is brewing for cable and fixed-line operators
2015
Germany
Telefonica
KPN
merger

June 2015
4G LTE smartphone plans with 100 or unlimited gigabyte volume are promoted by European mobile operators as the ultimate packages for connecting computers and tablets and streaming movies while at home. Affordably priced 100, 200, 500 or unlimited gigabyte 4G LTE data only home broadband plans - Cheaper than cable.


The 4 to 3 consolidation effect – Hutchison Three UK increases prices, again!
2015
United Kingdom
Hutchison
Telefonica
merger

April 2015
Three UK has now more than doubled the price of its flagship SIM-only smartphone plan. Hutchison appears confident that price increases will not deter the European Commission from approving its planned acquisition of o2 in the UK with an ineffective upfront ‘throughput≠capacity’ based MVNO remedy.

The dubious consolidation economics of Frontier Economics
2015
Austria
Hutchison
merger

March 2015
In its report ‘Assessing the case for in-country mobile consolidation’, prepared for the GSMA, Frontier Economics claimed “...that there is no evidence that prices increased following the merger” in Austria. According to Frontier’s dubious methodology unit prices fall even when consumers are asked to pay more Euros every month to purchase the same amount of goods. The fact is that before the merger, in December 2012, Austrian consumers paid €11 to purchase a smartphone plan with at least 1,000 minutes/SMS and 2 gigabytes. By February 2015 the price has doubled to €22.

The European Commission unlawfully approved Hutchison’s acquisition of Orange in Austria by knowingly accepting ‘ineffective' commitments
2015
Austria
Hutchison
Orange
merger

January 2015
The Commission was well aware at the time it approved the Austrian merger (December 2012) that Hutchison’s Final Commitments (MVNO wholesale access) could not remove the competition concerns entirely.

Mobile consolidation on Denmark’s doorstep
2014
Denmark
Telenor
TeliaCompany
merger

December 2014
Will consolidation lead to higher consumer prices for mobile internet access in Denmark as it did in the Austrian and German markets?

UPC Austria finally launches as an MVNO on Hutchison’s network
2014
Austria
Hutchison
Orange
merger
Libertyglobal

December 2014
Two years after the merger of Hutchison and Orange the European Commission’s presumed “effective” MVNO remedy is finally implemented – and as we predicted it is proven toothless

Reducing Wireless Competition in Europe
2014
Germany
Telefonica
KPN
merger

[External article, The New York Times]
July 2014
A recent decision by European regulators to approve the merger of two cellphone companies in Germany will significantly reduce competition and encourage further consolidation in the industry. Citing Digital Fuel Monitor research.

Telefonica’s Mickey Mouse commitments are irrelevant and ineffective
2014
Germany
Telefonica
KPN
merger

May 2014
Will Almunia succumb to Merkel’s pressure and clear Telefonica/E-Plus merger with toothless Austrian like remedies (leased 2600MHz spectrum, WiFi, MVNOs) or stand firm, enforce the law and prohibit the merger?

EU regulators open lengthy probe into Telefonica, KPN deal
2013
Germany
Telefonica
KPN
merger

[External article, Reuters]
December 2013
EU antitrust regulators opened an in-depth probe into Telefonica's proposed 8.6 billion euro ($11.9 billion) takeover of KPN's German unit, saying the deal may reduce competition in the German mobile market.

Mobile network operator consolidation in Germany
2013
Germany
Telefonica
KPN
merger
spectrum

November 2013
Telefonica’s acquisition of E-Plus, if approved, will turn Germany into a fiercely competitive market.

Mobilfunkfusion treibt Preise in Österreich
2013
Germany
Telefonica
KPN
merger

[External article, Handelsblatt, in German]
September 2013
In einer Studie für europäische und nationale Kartellwächter warnt die finnische Beratungsfirma Rewheel vor einer Fusion der deutschen Mobilfunker O2 und E-Plus, sollte es keine strengen Auflagen geben. Die Spezialisten für den Mobilfunkmarkt verweisen darauf, dass in Österreich sieben Monate nach einer genehmigten Fusion der Anbieter Hutchison 3G Austria („3“) die Preise für Smartphone-Tarife im Durchschnitt um sechzig Prozent erhöht habe.

Post-consolidation price hike in Austria
2013
Austria
Hutchison
Orange
merger

September 2013
In this flash report we follow up on our EU27 mobile data cost competitiveness report May 2013 by reflecting on three recent market developments: consolidation in Austria (prices went up by over 60% on average), the planned acquisition of KPN E-Plus in Germany and EU's single telecom market regulation.

EU antitrust watchdog put to test with Vodafone, Hutchison deals
2013
Vodafone
Hutchison
Telefonica
Germany
Irelands
merger

[External article, Reuters]
June 2013
European regulators will soon weigh in on two telecom acquisitions worth about 11.5 billion euros, in key test cases for a sector that executives believe needs consolidation to counter falling sales and boost network investments.Rewheel quotes inside.

Phone Mergers Can’t Mean Higher Price, Less Competition, EU Says
2013
Germany
Telefonica
KPN
merger

[External article, Bloomberg]
February 2013
European Union Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia said companies’ expansion can’t come at the expense of customers or competition, in a response to a call by telecommunications operators for looser merger reviews. Users pay as much as ten times more to use their smartphones in countries where the biggest European operators have no local competitors, Almunia said, citing [Rewheel] research.

Austrian takeover is a touchstone for telecoms dealmakers
2013
Austria
Hutchison
Orange
Iliad
merger

[External article, The Financial Times, subscription required]
February 2013
Once the merger was crowned and three operators were left standing, it took a matter of days for something rare and unusual to jolt Austria’s cut-throat mobile phone business: prices started to rise. “We warned that prices would rise,” says Theodor Thanner, Austria’s competition regulator who questioned the EU approving Hutchison’s takeover of Orange last year. “Our forecast has been fulfilled”. Citing Rewheel research.

Fixed-to-mobile broadband substitution
Mobile data usage in Finland
Effectiveness of MVNO remedies
Tight oligopoly markets in EU28
EU's first 700 MHz spectrum auction
DFMonitor in the international media
Reducing Wireless Competition in Europe
The New York Times (editorial)


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