Hutchison, EU to talk on Orange Austria bid-source

BRUSSELS, Oct 8 (Reuters) - Hutchison 3G will seek toconvince doubting EU regulators of the merits of its1.3-billion-euro ($1.70 billion) bid for France Telecom's

Orange Austria subsidiary at a private hearing onWednesday, a person familiar with the matter said on Monday.

EU approval of the deal could hinge on the hearing whichcomes a week after EU Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almuniaquestioned whether Hutchison could offer sufficient concessionsto settle concerns about the deal, signalling a possible veto.

Hutchison 3G Austria's chief executive Jan Trionow andHutchison 3G Europe's deputy chairman Christian Salbaing willargue the case for the company at the closed-door event, saidthe person, who declined to be named because of the sensitivityof the matter.

Senior officials from the European Commission's competitionunit, Commission lawyers and representatives from nationalantitrust agencies are expected to attend.

Oral hearings played a crucial role in helping Oracle

secure EU regulatory approval for its 2010 takeover ofSun Microsystems and Sony to merge its recordedbusiness with Bertelsmann AG's unit in 2004, according toantitrust experts.

Hutchison, a unit of Hutchison Whampoa , which iscontrolled by Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-shing, has offered toopen its network to rivals at cost price but EU regulators wantmore concessions before allowing the merger of Austria's twosmallest operators.

Telekom Austria is the biggest player followed byDeutsche Telekom's T-Mobile.

($1=0.7657 euros)

(Reporting by Foo Yun Chee; Editing by Greg Mahlich)

((foo.yunchee@thomsonreuters.com)(+32 2 287 6844)(ReutersMessaging: foo.yunchee.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))