Orange and MásMóvil have chosen Romania's Digi to acquire assets they must divest to address EU competition concerns over the proposed merger of their Spanish businesses.

As reported by Reuters, which cited sources familiar with the matter, the duo are looking to ease competition fears as a merger would consolidate the market from four telcos to three.

Orange Spain shop
– Getty Images

The €18.6 billion ($19.7bn) merger between Orange and MásMóvil combines the second and fourth-largest telecom providers in Spain respectively.

Earlier this year, the European Commission warned that such a deal would reduce competition in Spain and also increase costs for customers.

The merger is currently being assessed by the Commission, as antitrust regulators want the two operators to address a number of competition concerns before any approval is given.

"It is not up to Orange to validate the potential remedy taker and remedies. This is up to the Commission. We cannot comment on the details or nature of the ongoing discussions," an Orange spokesperson told Reuters.

Last month, Romanian-based Digi Communications outlined its intention to expand its Spanish presence through an investment of €2 billion ($2.15bn) if it's allowed access to assets freed up by the proposed merger of Orange and MásMóvil.

"We will invest €2 billion in Spain if we get the 'remedies' from Orange and MásMóvil," said Digi CEO Marius Varzaru last month.

Since launching in the country back in 2008, Digi now has over 5.7 million customers in Spain, as of the first half of this year.

The operator offers mobile services through an MVO agreement with Spanish telco Telefónica.

Orange currently serves close to 17 million mobile customers in Spain, per Umlaut figures, while Yoigo, which is MásMóvil's mobile brand, has 9.1 million subscribers.

It's the biggest proposed deal in the European Union since 2016 when the EC blocked CK Hutchison's proposed acquisition of Telefónica British mobile unit O2.