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Exclusive: Deutsche Telekom to win EU okay for Dutch Tele2 deal – sources

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Deutsche Telekom logo is seen during preparations at the CeBit computer fair, which will open its doors to the public on March 20, at the fairground in Hanover, Germany, March 18, 2017. REUTERS/Fabian Bimmer

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Deutsche Telekom (DTEGn.DE) is set to win unconditional EU antitrust approval for its bid to buy Swedish peer Tele2’s (TEL2b.ST) Dutch unit, people familiar with the matter said on Monday.

The EU green light is likely to cheer the telecoms industry, which wants competition regulators to take a broader view of consolidation aimed at boosting revenues and investments, and also to allow it to better compete with internet rivals.

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The European Commission opened a full-scale investigation into the bid five months ago, concerned that the four-to-three deal would hurt competition in the Dutch market and lead to price increases for consumers.

Deutsche Telekom has argued that the combined company would only have a 25 percent market share, way behind market leader KPN (KPN.AS) and No. 2 player VodafoneZiggo.

Under the deal, Tele2 will receive 190 million euros ($224 million) in cash and a 25 percent stake in the enlarged T-Mobile NL, the two companies said when the deal was announced last December.

The Commission, which is scheduled to rule on the deal by Nov. 30, and Deutsche Telekom declined to comment.

Reporting by Foo Yun Chee, additional reporting by Doug Busvine in Frankfurt; Editing by Keith Weir

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