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REFILE-EXCLUSIVE-Iliad to gain EU nod for 3.5 bln euro Polish telecoms deal -sources

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BRUSSELS/PARIS, Oct 14 (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, 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, Deutsche Telekom’s T-Mobile and Polkomtel, a unit of Cyfrowy Polsat, 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. ($1 = 0.8518 euros) (Reporting by Foo Yun Chee in Brussels and Mathieu Rosemain in Paris Editing by David Goodman)

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