2/19/2010 2:22:00 PM
T-Orange merger offers spectrum cuts
T-Mobile and Orange will give upto a quarter of their 1800 MHz spectrum and share infrastructure with 3 in return for
regulatory approval of their merger.
The offer was made to the
EU Commission by parent companies France Telecom and Deutsche Telekom, according
to the Financial Times.
The move is seen as a bid
to prevent the merger being referred by the OFT to the Competition Commission
which could see the deal delayed for two years.
Rival UK operators declined to comment.
However all three have voiced their opposition to the merger, arguing it will
distort the market.
Earlier this month the Office
of Fair Trading (OFT) asked the EU Commission to allow it to review the merger
on the grounds that it could affect competition in the UK mobile
industry. The EU has until March 1 to decide whether the deal should be investigated
by the OFT.
If the OFT decides the
merger does threaten competition it will refer it to the Competition Commission
which could delay the deal for up to two years.