BT’s takeover of UK mobile operator EE has been cleared by the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority. The watchdog judged that the move, worth £12.5 billion ($19.1 billion), would not cause ‘significant harm’ to any of the 10 markets investigated.
John Wootton was chair of the enquiry. He said, “We provisionally think that the retail mobile market in the UK, with four main mobile providers and a substantial number of smaller operators, is competitive”. Because BT is a relatively minor player in the mobile market, as EE is in fixed line broadband, the regulator said that there was little risk of harming retail choice for consumers. The panel was, however, split over whether the deal would cause harm in the wholesale mobile market.