10/6/2015 5:35:00 PM
CMA asks to investigate O2/Three merger
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has requested that the O2/Three merger be
referred to it for investigation.
The formal request was made to the European Commission (EC), which will decide this month whether to approve the pending merger.
The CMA believes that combining the companies would significantly affect competition in UK retail mobile and whole mobile markets. It is requesting that the case be referred to it, as it claims that any competition issues arising from an approved merger would impact on UK consumers.
The competition authority told the EC of its experience in dealing with telecoms mergers, referring to its ongoing investigation into the BT/EE merger. It claims that both mergers should be examined together in order to avoid any duplication or fragmentation.
Industry participants have supported the CMA’s referral request, with the EC required to make a decision on whether to refer the case by 30 October 2015.