Telefonica and Liberty Global pressed-on with plans to complete a massive UK tie-up by the start of June, after receiving the final go-ahead from the country’s competition regulator.

In a joint statement, Liberty Global CEO Mike Fries and Telefonica CEO Jose Maria Alvarez-Pallete called the clearance of the deal a watershed for the UK market, and reiterated aims to up investment and competition in fibre and 5G.

The comments came after the UK Competition and Markets Authority gave its final nod for the deal today (20 May), having announced its decision without conditions in April. Initially its judgement was open to any final comments from interested parties before the case formally closed.

Under the agreement, Liberty Global’s Virgin Media UK fixed and broadcast unit will be combined with Telefonica’s O2 UK with 50:50 ownership between the parent companies.

The companies expect to achieve £6.2 billion in net synergy savings after integration costs and have claimed the new business will become a “national connectivity champion”. They expect to close the transaction “by 1 June”.