The European Commission has opened an investigation into the takeover of telco Base by Liberty Globalís Telenet.

Plans to acquire the third-largest mobile operator in Belgium from KPN at a cost of Ä1.35 billion were announced in April.

The Commission is concerned the acquisition would lead to a reduction in competition in the Belgian market.

Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy, commented: ďConsumers increasingly depend on reliable and competitive telecoms services to keep in touch and to access information. We want to make sure that consumers in Belgium do not suffer higher prices and less choice as a result of this proposed takeoverĒ.

Telenet does not operate its own mobile network; instead it has an MVNO arrangement with the Mobistar network.

The Commission has concerns that the transaction would remove an important competitive force and that the merged entity would have limited incentives to exercise significant competitive pressure on the two main remaining competitors in the retail mobile market (Proximus and Mobistar).

Itís also concerned the agreement would increase Telenetís ability to sell its own fixed line services to Base customers.