Li Ka-shing

EU regulator blocks takeover of UK mobile phone operator O2

The European Union's regulator has blocked the $15 billion takeover of British mobile phone operator O2 by CK Hutchison over concerns the deal would have stifled innovation and led to higher prices for consumers.

EU antitrust commissioner, Margrethe Vestager, said Wednesday the takeover would have created "a market leader that would have had influence over the entire mobile network infrastructure in the U.K."

Hutchison, which is the flagship company of Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-shing, already owns the smaller British mobile operator Three. The agreement to buy O2 from Spain-based Telefonica SA would have brought about the merger of two of Britain's four major...