France Telecom and Deutsche Telekom are pushing to have European regulators review the proposed merger of their UK mobile operations, rather than UK competition authorities, reports the Financial Times (FT). The companies fear that if UK bodies get involved, the inquiry will be a protracted one, notes the FT. The article adds that UK consumer groups have expressed concern that the merger will have a negative effect on competition.

Months of speculation concerning the fate of T-Mobile UK came to an end in September when Deutsche Telekom and France Telecom announced plans for a mega-merger between their UK mobile subsidiaries. The deal, once finalised, would knock O2 off its mantle and create a new UK market leader. Significantly, the deal is a major blow to Vodafone, as the operator would become the third-largest player in its ‘home’ market.