UK pushes for final O2, Virgin Media call - Mobile World Live

UK pushes for final O2, Virgin Media call

08 OCT 2020

The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) urged the European Commission (EC) to give it the final say on the proposed merger of Telefonica and Liberty Global’s local operations, arguing the deal does not have implications elsewhere.

The EC is currently in the process of reviewing a tie-up between mobile provider O2 UK and fixed company Virgin Media with a provisional deadline of 5 November. Its current timeline assumes the decision does not require a second level investigation.

Although clearance or rejection currently falls under the remit of EC competition chiefs, the decision can be transferred to the CMA under specific circumstances.

In a statement, the CMA said requirements for the EC to cede control have been met as “any impact on competition will be limited solely to UK consumers” with potential effects covering both the retail and wholesale sectors.

It added any implications would be felt following the end of the transition period for the UK leaving the European Union, further improving its case for control.

The EC has until 19 November to respond to the CMA’s request. Should it fail, the UK body said it would continue to aid the European-level investigation.

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Chris Donkin

Chris joined the Mobile World Live team in November 2016 having previously worked at a number of UK media outlets including Trinity Mirror, The Press Association and UK telecoms publication Mobile News. After spending 10 years in journalism, he moved...

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