EC Blocks Mobile Merger

The European Commission has blocked the proposed merger of O2 and Hutchinson, which operates the Three network, in the UK. The Commission was concerned that the move would have led to less choice and higher prices for consumers.

If the deal had gone ahead, there would have been only two competitors for the merged entity: Vodafone and EE. The new company would have been present in both combined networks (EE/Three’s Mobile Broadband Network Limited and Vodafone/O2’s Beacon), which would have given it a significant competitive advantage.