HK-Russian phone tie-up in Italy gets EU's okay
BRUSSELS • The European Union yesterday cleared a mobile phone tie-up between Hong Kong's Hutchison and Russia's VimpelCom in Italy after they agreed to sell some of the business to boost competition.
Hutchison, owned by Hong Kong tycoon Li Ka Shing, and VimpelCom agreed last year to merge their networks 3 Italia and Wind, but the European Commission demanded they make room for new entrants in the Italian market.
The commission, which polices European Union competition policy, said the structural remedies offered by Hutchison and VimpelCom "fully address the commission's competition concerns".
VimpelCom's Wind business currently ranks third in the Italian market and Hutchison fourth, but together they will become the largest entity, ahead of Telecom Italia's Tim and Britain's Vodafone.
No merger yet for Deutsche, Commerzbank
LONDON • Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank executives held talks about a potential merger but decided against pursuing a transaction as the companies focus on restructuring their own businesses first, sources said.
A combination would see Germany's top two banks combining their consumer businesses, with the opportunity to cut costs and create a bigger European lender that would be able to compete more effectively, sources said. Spokesmen for Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank declined to comment.
Deutsche shares gained in Frankfurt trading on the report - up 2.4 per cent , while Commerzbank shares rose as much as 3.1 per cent.