- O2 and Three won’t become one—Commission blocks telecoms merger
- Original news
- What’s the background to the case?
- What were the Commission’s concerns in this case?
- How different, if at all, is the mobile telecommunications market in the UK compared to other EU countries?
- How much support and/or opposition was there to the deal in the market and from other regulators?
- To what extent were the existing network sharing arrangements between Three/EE on the one hand and O2/Vodafone on the other instrumental in the Commission’s decision? Are these arrangements unique to the UK or are they mirrored in other EU countries?
- Why did the Commission reject the proposed commitments offered? Given the innovative nature of the proposed package of commitments, would it have made any difference if they had been offered earlier in the process, allowing the Commission more time to assess them?
- First concern
- Second concern
- Third concern
- If commitments had been offered that created a fourth mobile network operator (MNO), could the decision have been different?
- Where does this decision leave mobile telecommunication consolidation in Europe (especially considering the ongoing phase II investigation in relation to Italy)?
Competition analysis: The European Commission recently blocked the proposed acquisition of Telefónica’s O2 by Hutchison’s Three. Vineet Budhiraja, associate at Watson Farley & Williams, and Jeremy Robinson, partner, consider the background and potential implications of the decision.
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