11th May 2016

ITSPA welcomes European Commission decision to block O2/Three merger

ITSPA, the voice of the next generation communications industry in the UK, has welcomed the European Commission’s decision to block the proposed acquisition of O2 by Hutchison under the EU Merger Regulation.

Eli Katz, the Chair of ITSPA, statedITSPA is pleased that the European Commission has blocked the O2/Three deal. We believe that, if the deal had gone ahead, it would have resulted in price rises, negatively impacting the consumers in the UK. ITSPA feels that a competitive landscape in the UK telecommunications market is vital to provide the best outcomes for consumers and businesses. A reduction from four to three mobile network operators would have threatened this.”

Katz went onWe’re also pleased that one of ITSPA’s key concerns with the proposed merger was highlighted by the Commission as one of its top three reasons to block the deal. The Commission was right to state that merger would have resulted in fewer MNOs willing to host virtual operators, consequently the damage to the MVNO market would have hindered innovation and competition, resulting in negative outcomes for UK consumers. We are delighted that our concerns were taken into account and we hope that the UK mobile market can now become as competitive and innovative as it currently is for fixed telephony.”

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