Poland will prove Iliad’s most challenging acquisition market to date

Following the news that Iliad has made a $4.2bn bid for Play;

Emma Mohr-McClune, Global Consumer Platforms, Services and Devices Analyst at GlobalData, offers her view on the acquisition:

“On the face of it, a tie-up between Iliad and Play appears to present the perfect meeting of minds. Both are disruptive price aggressors with a strong digital sales and customer experience focus and innovative promotional practices – particularly in the consumer segment.

“However, Iliad is an opportunist with a strategy that works best in over-priced, under-competitive markets without a strong value leader. Play has already leveraged that role in Poland for several years, and as a result this market now hosts some of the lowest 5G pricing levels in the EU, as well as a hyper-competitive mobile and convergence service landscape; it’s difficult to see Iliad’s opportunity opening here.

“Iliad’s immediate challenge will be to balance the cost of profitably maintaining a nationwide 5G network on one hand, with the requirement to compete against some of Europe’s most experienced home service convergence leaders, particularly Orange and Telekom.”

“Furthermore, Iliad is a known force. Play’s rivals have had plenty of opportunity to watch Iliad’s market entry strategy in other European markets, firstly in Orange’s home market and then most recently in Italy. They’ll be armed and ready.”

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