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Vodafone Three merger referred for competition probe

Published 04/04/2024, 09:06
© Reuters.  Vodafone Three merger referred for competition probe

Proactive Investors - Vodafone’s proposed merger with rival UK mobile group Three is to be subject to a full competition probe after the companies offered no solutions to ease CMA concerns over the potential for higher prices

Last month, the competition watchdog said the £19 billion deal might leave consumers "considerably worse off" and asked the companies to come up with “meaningful solutions” to answer its concerns.

“On 28 March 2024, the Parties informed the CMA that they would not be offering any undertakings," the regulator said in a statement on Thursday.

As a result, the CMA said: “[It] had referred the anticipated joint venture between Vodafone Group PLC (LON:VOD) and CK Hutchison Holdings Ltd (HK:0001) concerning Vodafone Limited and Hutchison 3G UK Limited for an in-depth investigation”.

The CMA has said consistently that the UK needs four large mobile groups to provide effective competition.

A merger between Vodafone and Hutchison-owned Three would cut the number of major UK mobile networks to three from four.

Read more on Proactive Investors UK


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