FRANKFURT, Oct 28 (Reuters) - Consolidation among European telecoms operators is likely to continue as regulators will increasingly assess markets in a global or regional rather than a national context, the European Union’s digital economy commissioner said on Wednesday.
“I believe the consolidation process will continue - we have rather too many than too few companies in Europe,” Guenther Oettinger, EU Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society, told Reuters on the sidelines of a conference in Frankfurt.
Oettinger’s comments contrast with a harder stance on telecoms mergers taken by European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, who took office last year, and EU Digital Single Market Vice President Andrus Ansip.
Asked about Vestager’s rejection of calls by telecoms operators for a more lenient approach to mergers, Oettinger said: “She sets a lot of store by variety of offerings, by competition, that’s the one important factor. The other is that we need competitive companies who are big enough in the global competitive context.” (Reporting by Georgina Prodhan; Editing by Maria Sheahan)