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Exclusive: Iliad to gain EU nod for 3.5 billion euro Polish telecoms deal - sources

FILE PHOTO: Guests waits before French telecoms operator Iliad media conference in Milan, Italy, May 29, 2018. REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini

BRUSSELS/PARIS (Reuters) - French telecoms operator Iliad is poised to secure EU antitrust clearance for its 3.5 billion euro ($4.11 billion) takeover of Polish mobile group Play PLY.WA, people familiar with the matter said on Wednesday.

Iliad, Europe’s sixth-largest mobile operator, is controlled by French tycoon Xavier Niel and has been expanding steadily outside its home market in recent years, including in Ireland and Italy.

Play, which competes against Orange Polska OPL.WA, Deutsche Telekom's DTEGn.DE T-Mobile and Polkomtel, a unit of Cyfrowy Polsat CPS.WA, has become the top Polish mobile operator by number of users through an aggressive pricing strategy.

The European Commission, which will decide on the deal by Oct. 26, declined to comment. Iliad also declined to comment.

There has been a wave of telecoms sector consolidation in recent months as providers bulk up to cope with the costly rollout of 5G technology and to compete with tech rivals in the provision of online communications services.

(This story corrects typographical error in final paragraph)

Reporting by Foo Yun Chee in Brussels and Mathieu Rosemain in Paris; Editing by David Goodman

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