The European Commission closed its preliminary antitrust investigation into five large European operator groups around the development of standards for future mobile communications services.

The Commission requested information from the E5 operators (Deutsche Telekom, France Telecom, Telecom Italia, Telefonica and Vodafone) and the GSMA about the standardisation processes, to ensure they did not “strategically” foreclose other players.

A year after the probe was initiated, the Commission has welcomed the transfer of the standardisation work from the E5 to the GSMA and other industry bodies, as it allows for participation from more stakeholders.

“It is a positive step that reduces the risk of standard setting work affecting competition negatively,” the Commission said, adding that it will “remain watchful of how standardisation processes evolve in this sector”.

A statement from the GSMA said that it “welcomes the closing of this case and will continue to work closely and cooperate fully with the EU Commission”.