Telefónica is in negotiations to acquire 5G spectrum from the newly merged telco MásOrange in Spain.

Spanish newspaper El Expansion reports that MásOrange is in talks with Telefónica to sell the spectrum it's obliged to part with following the completion of Orange and MásMóvil's merger last month.

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The deal was delayed over fears of its impact on competition in the Spanish market, with the merger reducing the number of telcos from four to three.

It only got the go-ahead after MásMóvil agreed to divest spectrum across three frequency spectrum bands to Romania's Digi.

But despite this MásOrange still owns more spectrum than it should, as per Spanish government rules, and needs to shift 30 MHz in the 3.5 GHz band.

The telco can either give it back to the state or sell it to another operator, such as Telefónica.

Following the completion of the merger, MásOrange owns 190 MHz in the 3.5G Hz band, of which 110 MHz came from Orange and 80 MHz came from MásMóvil, before 20 MHz goes to Digi. Meanwhile, Telefónica has 100 MHz of 3.5 GHz spectrum.

First announced back in 2022, the merger is estimated to be worth €18.6 billion ($20.1bn), and will create a combined business of more than 37 million customers, including mobile and fixed-line subscribers. The agreement sees both carriers owning a 50 percent stake in the JV.