T-Mobile and Orange merger to get green light

T-Mobile and Orange merger to get green light

The Orange/ T-Mobile merger is expected to get the green light from the European Commission this week after the two operators agreed a network sharing deal with 3 which gives it access to 16,000 UK mast sites.

Sources say the EU Commission is expected to inform the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) of its decision today. The OFT requested leave from the EU Commission earlier this month to investigate the merger because it was concerned it would reduce competition in the UK market. Its main concern was the impact of the merger on 3, which has a network sharing deal with T-Mobile.

However following the Orange/T-Mobile deal with 3 the OFT is expected to accept the EU Commission’s decision. Sources say it will make an announcement today.

Orange and T-Mobile have also agreed to relinquish 25% of their combined 1800 MHz spectrum – the wavelength earmarked for super-fast mobile broadband internet. The two operators currently own 84% of 1800MHz spectrum in the UK between them.

However, this part of the deal will disappoint rivals O2 and Vodafone who were pushing for the merger to relinquish a greater share of spectrum.

The OFT and the EU Commission declined to comment.

Written by Mobile Today
Mobile Today

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