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BT welcomes regulatory nod for EE deal

Gavin Patterson

Gavin Patterson

UK telco BT has welcomed the Competition and Markets Authority’s (CMA) decision to provisionally approve its £12.5bn acquisition of EE.

The CMA said today it has provisionally decided that the acquisition “is not expected to result in a substantial lessening of competition (SLC) in any market in the UK”. These include the supply of retail mobile, wholesale mobile, mobile backhaul, wholesale broadband and retail fixed broadband services.

“We’re pleased that the CMA has provisionally approved BT’s acquisition of EE,” says BT Chief Executive Gavin Patterson. “The combined BT and EE will be good for the UK, providing investment and ensuring consumers and businesses can benefit from further innovation in a highly competitive market”.

Meanwhile, leading analyst firm Ovum has released a comment observing that, while BT and EE appear to have been given the regulatory nod, the prospective Three/O2 deal looks increasingly uncertain.

“Of course the more challenging transaction to win regulatory approval will be that of Three/O2,” explains Matthew Howett, Practice Leader, Regulation, Ovum. “Across Europe the sentiment for greater industry consolidation has waned following suspected price increases in markets where the number of mobile players fell from 4 to 3, and where as a result of the changing of the guard at the EU competition authority, a higher bar has been set to win the necessary approval.”

Andy Beale (Chief Engineer, BT Sport) will be delivering a ‘4k Broadcasting Case Study’ at this year’s OTTtv World Summit (9th – 12th November 2015 Millennium Gloucester Hotel, London)

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