Three’s owners Hutchison Whampoa have promised not to raise prices or harm competition should their takeover of O2 be agreed.
In an open letter from Canning Fok (pictured), the influential managing director of Hutch, the global business also promised to invest £5bn over the next 5 years.
Fok explains that he felt compelled to go public with ‘three promises’ due to the ‘the blizzard of commentary and speculation earlier this week around telecoms competition in the UK’.
He also called out Sharon White for going public with her views on the proposed merger ‘without having asked for or heard our views in response to her concerns’.
‘Get more and pay less’
Fok is bullish in his statement that the business has always sought to foster competition, referring to the ‘billions’ spent in order to establish Three as a major UK mobile brand.
‘Over the last 12 years our Group spent billions to enable Three to be a major competitive force in UK mobile’ he said ‘from the outset, we have followed the principle that as technology improves people should always get more and pay less for their mobile services. That has not always made us popular with our competitors. And of course, not all of our efforts have succeeded and sometimes we have had to retrench when conditions in the market or spectrum auction outcomes have made our efforts unsustainable. But we have always strived to be a consistent force for consumers, and I believe our reputation as the challenger in Britain is the proof of that.’
The promises come the same week that Three received a great deal of public anger for raising the prices on its 'All You Can Eat' tariffs. It's not the first time the brand has been seen to be moving away from its low cost distruptive market position, back in 2014 Three was criticised for ditching its popular 'The One Plan' which many saw as a move to increase ARPU.
Read our analysis of what the European regulator could force Three and O2 to do here.