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Vodafone challenges approval of the take-over bid for PT

Lisbon, 28 September 2006 – Vodafone Portugal disagrees with and deplores the probable lines of the Competition Authority’s decision not to oppose the Sonae/PT concentration in the form proposed.

After a close and comprehensive reading of the text of the Draft Decision received at Vodafone at 5:30 pm today, setting out the detailed justification of the conditions and obligations imposed, Vodafone Portugal will be responding to the Competition Authority to comment in detail on the various undertakings it contains.

On a first reading, the Draft Decision appears to omit a range of information that is highly relevant to this case which was probably regarded as confidential and excised from the draft decision sent to Vodafone. This information is, in our opinion, fundamental to a study of the case, and for this reason Vodafone Portugal intends to apply to the Competition Authority for it to be made immediately available.

Vodafone Portugal reiterates that the reinforcement of the heavily dominant position resulting from the merger of TMN and Optimus will create significant obstacles to competition in the mobile communications market which will seriously compromise its quality and growth, to the undeniable detriment of consumers.

It makes no sense to introduce rigid, artificial regulation into the mobile sector as justification for the creation of a heavily dominant position in this important sector. It is also difficult to understand how increased competition in the fixed communications market resulting from the separation of the copper and cable networks can be advanced, as an offsetting factor, to justify the creation of significant obstacles to competition in the mobile sector. The present trend towards increased competition in the fixed communications market could be further stimulated in other ways, without prejudicing competition in the mobile market.