The European Commission will fine Altice for purchasing PT Portugal without its approval. The fine can surpass 450 million euros.
The European Commission will fine Altice for purchasing PT Portugal without its approval. The news were disclosed this Wednesday by Reuters, quoting a source connected to the proceeding. Brussels’ decision should be made public next week.
The purchase of PT Portugal to Oi was closed in 2015, in a business that was assessed in 5.7 billion euros. The operation did not have, however, the approval of the European Commission, which started investigating Altice in May of 2017, alleging that the French group violated Merger Regulation of the European Union by concluding the sale before a notification or authorization from the Commission.
By then, Margrethe Vestager, the European Commissioner for Competition, stated that when companies “move forward with mergers before a notification or approval, they compromise the effective functioning of the European Union’s merger control system”.
Almost one year after having opened the investigation, European authorities decided to fine the French company. In such cases, fines can go up to 10% of the annual world business volume of the company that is breaching the regulation, which, in the case of Altice, may cause the company to pay 451 million euros.
Altice has no reserves to pay this amount. According to Jornal de Negócios, last week, the group hasn’t made any provision to deal with a fine from the European Commission.
When contacted by ECO, Altice refrained from commenting on the issue.