UK telco BT yesterday made its formal submission to the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority, seeking approval for the proposed acquisition of EE.
Central to BT’s argument is the fact that the proposed acquisition will not reduce competition in either the fixed or mobile markets and will in fact enhance it, with the number of UK mobile network operators remaining at four. The ability of BT’s landline and mobile rivals to compete with BT using its arms-length Openreach network will be unaffected by the acquisition, argues the telco.
Following the acquisition, BT will have market shares in the broadband and mobile markets under the threshold that regulators normally look for before considering whether action is required.
“BT’s acquisition of EE will be good for consumers, businesses and UK plc, as well as for BT shareholders, so we are keen to get regulatory clearance,” comments Gavin Patterson, BT Group Chief Executive. “A larger BT will be able to invest and innovate even more than now, something that’s good for jobs and good for customers. The acquisition will lead to greater competition, given our history as a natural and willing wholesaler, enabling other companies to use the networks we own.”
BT expects the process and the EE transaction to complete by the end of March 2016.