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T-Mobile and Orange merger given green light

T-Mobile and Orange merger given green light

After months of speculation, the merger of network providers Orange and T-Mobile has been officially sanctioned by the central regulatory body for competition.

Conditional approval for the transaction has been granted, which allows the deal to go ahead without the involvement of the Office of Fair Trading (OFT).

The UK regulatory body had been seeking powers to oversee the merger for itself, but has now said that it is satisfied that the firms' concessions have been sufficient to "fully address the OFT's outstanding competition concerns".

As part of the deal, the merging firms will allow other networks to purchase parts of the important 1800MHz frequency over which they have ownership.

This is significant for consumers as it could allow rival networks to offer better internet access to their mobile customers.

The newly formed group will also keep close ties with 3, as T-Mobile has mutually beneficial commitments to the current industry underdog.

A spokesperson for the UK telecommunications watchdog Ofcom said: "The agreed commitments from both parties are consistent with our objective of maintaining effective competition, which is in consumers' interests".

After the merger is completed in the spring, the resultant firms will have nearly 30 million customers in the UK, easily surpassing both O2 and Vodafone to claim the title of the UK's largest network.

There is still debate as to whether the merger will be a good thing for the consumer in the long run. Some argue that it will be difficult for competition to flourish if one dominant network is established.

Category: News

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