A Spanish government decision left Orange and Masmovil on track to complete a merger of their operations in the country by the end of the current quarter, having now secured all necessary clearances to form a 50:50 joint venture.

Minister of Digital Transformation Jose Luis Escriva told a press conference Orange and Masmovil’s commitments around network investment convinced the government the combination was a good thing.

Spanish government approval for a transfer of frequencies was the final clearance required for Orange and Masmovil’s plan after the European Commission (EC) ratified the merger last month.

Escriva credited Orange and Masmovil’s plans to invest in their fixed and mobile networks as being “ambitious”, noting the government was confident the merger would reinforce a “strategic market” in terms of security and economic benefit.

The operators already agreed to divest some Masmovil spectrum to MVNO Digi Communications, which was enough to alleviate EC concerns over the competitive impact of the tie-up.

Orange previously stated the merged business would have more than 30 million mobile and 7.3 million fixed line customers.