You are here: Home -

O2 and Three merger blocked by European Commission

0
Written by:
11/05/2016
The European Commission has blocked the proposed acquisition of O2 by CK Hutchison, the owner of mobile phone company Three.

The deal would have combined O2 and Three, leaving the UK with just three mobile network operators.

The European Commission said the reduced competition in the market “would likely have resulted in higher prices for mobile services in the UK” and “less choice for consumers”.

Europe Commissioner in charge of competition policy, Margrethe Vestager, said: “We want the mobile telecoms sector to be competitive, so that consumers can enjoy innovative mobile services at fair prices and high network quality. The goal of EU merger control is to ensure that tie-ups do not weaken competition at the expense of consumers and businesses.

“Allowing Hutchison to takeover O2 at the terms they proposed would have been bad for UK consumers and bad for the UK mobile sector.

“We had strong concerns that consumers would have had less choice finding a mobile package that suits their needs and paid more than without the deal. It would also have hampered innovation and the development of network infrastructure in the UK, which is a serious concern especially for fast moving markets. The remedies offered by Hutchison were not sufficient to prevent this.”

The decision follows research by Ofcom  published in March which suggested that the cost of mobile phone contracts could increase by up to 20% if the merger of O2 and Three went ahead.

CK Hutchison said it was “deeply disappointed by the Commission’s decision” and is considering a legal challenge.

The UK currently has four mobile network operators: BT’s mobile business EE, Telefónica’s O2, Vodafone and Hutchison’s Three.

There are 0 Comment(s)

If you wish to comment without signing in, click your cursor in the top box and tick the 'Sign in as a guest' box at the bottom.

Are you a first-time buyer looking for a mortgage?

Look no further, get the help you need by searching for your perfect mortgage

Which ISA is right for you? A round up of the six products available in 2017

From cash to innovative finance to lifetime, here's our guide to the ISA products available to savers this yea...

Guide to buy-to-let tax changes

In late 2015, former Chancellor George Osborne announced a range of  tax measures aimed at landlords, which t...

A guide to switching energy provider

All you need to know about switching from one energy supplier to another.

What will happen if rates change

How your finances will be impacted by a rise in interest rates.

Regular Savings Calculator

Small regular contributions can build up nicely over time.

Online Savings Calculator

Work out how your online savings can build over time.

Five fund tips for a 0.25% interest rate environment

With interest rates stuck at a record low 0.25% and expectations rates could fall to close to zero, here are ...

Protecting family wealth: 10 tips for cutting inheritance tax

Inheritance tax - sometimes known as 'death tax' - can cause even more heartache for bereaved families. But th...

Travel insurance: Five tips to ensure a successful claim

Ahead of your summer holiday, it’s important to make sure you have the right level of travel cover or you co...

Investing your money

Alliance Trust Plc gives you smart insight into how to invest your money

Money Tips of the Week

Read previous post:
2350010-property-key
Over a quarter of property purchases fall through

A hundred thousand property purchases fell through in 2015, accounting for a massive 27% of all sales, according to research...

Close