back to article Time running out for OFT T-Orange intervention

The FT reports that the Office of Fair Trading is about to grab the T-Orange investigation, though the regulator still has two days to make the decision. According to the report, the OFT will today formally petition the European Commission to have the case referred. This will allow local evaluation of how the merger of T- …


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  1. paulf

    Still no comments... all?


    With 3-Morabile between them having some kind of direct control over three of the five 3G licences, including the biggest one that 3 got as the new entrant, this merger is just full of bad news. T-M will vanish after being subsumed into Orange and 3's network will be dependant on Ora-Bile's bidding for investment and expansion, and competition will wither.

    If Three had its network sharing arrangement with O2 or Voda*, rather than T-M then it wouldn't be quite so bad, but one entity controlling two 3G licences with a stake in a third. Can no one else in the powers that be see this is crazy-talk??

    Is it me?

    Or maybe it really is all kittens and posies and the merger really will cure cancer along with all the other mystical consumer benefits that are being touted.

    One pineapple for France Ora-com - please sign here _____

    *IIRC O2 and Voda have some kind of network sharing arrangement so this option probably isn't much better, but network sharing isn't quite as full on as a total merger.

    1. G_C


      Was this written by the former Iraqi Information Minister? :o)

  2. Charlie Clark Silver badge

    Be careful what you wish for

    What on earth would the OFT refer the commission to the European Commission with reference to the UK market for? The Commission has no remit with regards to national markets as this is a principle of subsidiarity and, thus, a matter for the national regulator. And, let's face it, all the national governments made enough noise about this when Viviane Reding suggested doing away with roaming charges altogether. The Commission may only investigate the cross-border effects of such deals of which there are none at first sight, and, given how easily consolidation has been waved through in other auction weary countries such as the Netherlands I wouldn't expect much resistance from Brussels. The UK after the merger will be about as competitive as the similarly sized France.

    No, what the Commission might want longer term is a similar to the electricity market: separation of infrastructure from services.

  3. K12

    The request has gone through

    The OFT has officially requested that the merger is handed to them so yes delays are likely. At the highest level this was not unexpected and has already been planned for, had it only gone through europe this would have been a bonus but that is all.

    As for the chances of it going through there are no major hurdles as it works well with the goverments pledges around digital Britain, and the other networks are big enough to create a decent price war. Also T-mobile is now the provider for the goverments computers and internet for families scheme so this would help drive the quality of service around that.

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