Home
 » ISP News » 
Sponsored Links

Three UK and O2 Merger Investigated by European Commission

Friday, Oct 30th, 2015 (3:40 pm) - Score 1,675

The European Commission has today launched an “in-depth investigation” into the proposed £10.25bn Hutchison Whampoa (Three UK) deal to buy rival mobile operator O2 from debt-laden Telefonica, which has given rise to significant competition concerns.

Earlier this month the Competition and Markets Authority preliminarily ruled that the “transaction threatens to significantly [affect] competition” in the United Kingdom’s mobile market (here), which occurred because the merger would reduce the number of primary Mobile Network Operators from four to three (i.e. regulators want to see more competition, not less).

At the time the CMA said they had formally requested for the EC to refer Hutchison’s proposed acquisition back to the CMA for a full competition investigation, which they believed was the best course of action because there is some cross-over with the on-going probe of BT and EE’s merger; the latter deal was given preliminary approval this week (here).

However the EC, which recently blocked a number of similar deals, has today launched its own investigation and warned that the deal between Three UK’s parent and O2 could lead to “higher prices, less choice and reduced innovation for customers of mobile telecommunications services in the UK.”

Margrethe Vestager, Commissioner for Competition Policy, said:

Mobile telecom services are increasingly important to consumers. Both to keep in touch with family and friends and to access online services. With this investigation we want to ensure that consumers in the UK do not pay higher prices or face less choice as a result of this proposed takeover.”

The EC now has 90 working days, until 16th March 2016, to take a decision and few would be surprised if they found against the deal or imposed significant conditions. The two operators originally reached a “definitive agreement” in March 2015 (here), although the deal was always likely to attract more regulatory concern due to its above stated impact on the UK market.

Tags: , , , , , ,
Mark-Jackson
By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on X (Twitter), Mastodon, Facebook and .
Search ISP News
Search ISP Listings
Search ISP Reviews

Comments are closed

Cheap BIG ISPs for 100Mbps+
Community Fibre UK ISP Logo
150Mbps
Gift: None
Virgin Media UK ISP Logo
Virgin Media £26.00
132Mbps
Gift: None
Sky Broadband UK ISP Logo
100Mbps
Gift: None
Plusnet UK ISP Logo
Plusnet £27.99
145Mbps
Gift: None
Zen Internet UK ISP Logo
Zen Internet £28.00 - 35.00
100Mbps
Gift: None
Large Availability | View All
Cheapest ISPs for 100Mbps+
Gigaclear UK ISP Logo
Gigaclear £17.00
200Mbps
Gift: None
Community Fibre UK ISP Logo
150Mbps
Gift: None
BeFibre UK ISP Logo
BeFibre £19.00
150Mbps
Gift: None
YouFibre UK ISP Logo
YouFibre £19.99
150Mbps
Gift: None
Hey! Broadband UK ISP Logo
150Mbps
Gift: None
Large Availability | View All
The Top 15 Category Tags
  1. FTTP (5594)
  2. BT (3536)
  3. Politics (2558)
  4. Openreach (2315)
  5. Business (2289)
  6. Building Digital UK (2256)
  7. FTTC (2050)
  8. Mobile Broadband (1998)
  9. Statistics (1804)
  10. 4G (1686)
  11. Virgin Media (1644)
  12. Ofcom Regulation (1477)
  13. Fibre Optic (1410)
  14. Wireless Internet (1403)
  15. FTTH (1382)
Promotion
Sponsored

Copyright © 1999 to Present - ISPreview.co.uk - All Rights Reserved - Terms , Privacy and Cookie Policy , Links , Website Rules , Contact
Mastodon