back to article UK watchdog blesses Virgin Media and O2's union, says there's no risk of market distortion or competition loss

The UK's competition watchdog has provisionally cleared the proposed merger of Virgin Media and O2 after concluding it would not materially impact competition (and thus the price and availability of services) in the telecoms wholesale market. The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) started its more inquisitive second phase …

  1. James12345

    "four main carriers (O2, Virgin, Three, and Vodafone)" - think that should be "O2, EE/BT/OpenReach, Three, and Vodafone".

    Regarding backhaul, EE/BT/OpenReach and Vodafone (from the Cable and Wireless acquisition) are already in the position to exploit the price hikes that are feared from o2/VM. It seems a bit ridiculous to be worried about anybody other than EE/BT/OpenReach doing this, given the scale of BT position in the UK compared to the other operators.

  2. john.jones.name
    Alert

    just look at if they do IPv6

    Sky yes

    BT yes

    EE yes

    Andrews & Arnold yes

    Zen yes

    Three yes

    Virgin Media no

    o2 uk no (while EU o2 does)

    talks to the level of investment in their network even if you do not use IPv6

    1. Anonymous Coward
      FAIL

      Re: just look at if they do IPv6

      @John.Jones.name

      You don't seem to understand that the average internet/business user (me) does not give a damn about ipvanythting as long as the internet works. And you have totally missed the one seriously important fact that needs dealing with.

      But I am old now, my internet connection works, my business is fine I and could not care less about ipvs

      1. john.jones.name

        network investment

        @idiot taxpayer here again

        why invest in this DSL thing I already have banks of 56k modems

        its not like they are ever going to make bigger web pages or ask my to do meetings on the internet are they ?

        oh wait

        1. wolfetone Silver badge

          Re: network investment

          Banks of 56k modems?!

          THY DON'T KNOW THAT THY WERE BORN!

          When I were a lad, our internet came over t'pigeon over from that there mine. Those were the days...

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: network investment

            We used to dream of t'pigeons. t'pigeon would have been heaven for us. We had to get by with smoke signals and when it rained it was useless.

            1. Chris G Silver badge

              Re: network investment

              Smoke signals? We couldn't afford lookshuries like matches, we 'ad t' wait fer a sunny day and send signals reflected off me grandda's polished 'ed an 'e wasn't even bald.

              1. Aussie Doc Bronze badge
                Pint

                Re: network investment

                A polished 'ed?

                Looxury.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: network investment

            RFC 1149

          3. Dave559 Silver badge

            Re: network investment

            Pigeons would have been an unaffordable luxury. When I was at uni, I literally used sneakernet to transfer my Aminet downloads from the computer lab to my computer (guess which sort ;-) ) at home.

            Eventually a friend gave me a hand-me-down 2400 bps modem. I remember feeling that the future had definitely arrived, being able to actually browse the world wide web from my flat, "live", in real time (albeit obviously rather slowly, not that the web was bloaty then, fortunately). For obvious reasons, I mainly used it just to download mail and news (usenet) for offline reading. As soon as I could afford it, I bought a faster modem, though!

        2. Roland6 Silver badge

          Re: network investment

          "why invest in this DSL thing I already have banks of 56k modems"

          @john.jones.name

          I think you are missing the point. Back in 1997~98 in the UK there was much talk about ADSL - particularly in those circles lobbying telco's such as BT to adopt it.

          However, there was little point in end-user organisations buying ADSL equipment until the telco's supported it, so if you wanted more than a single 56k line you either breathed in deeply and went private circuit or invested in line aggregators to wring the most out of those modem banks...

          IPv6 is very much in the same place; until there is a compelling reason to go IPv6 and the telco's support it, the majority of businesses will solve the problems of today using today's readily available technology.

          1. john.jones.name
            Mushroom

            ipv6 and gaming

            IPv6 why use it ? its faster, it makes your game response times faster, xbox/playstation recommend and say this.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    But this doesn't necessarily mean the merged entity would be inclined

    no, not necessarily. Probably, very likely, but not necessarily indeed.

    1. ARGO

      Re: But this doesn't necessarily mean the merged entity would be inclined

      Something is fishy here. The proposed 3 / O2 merger was blocked in part due to the impact on MVNOs, but this merger is fine and dandy on those grounds .....

      1. Martin Summers

        Re: But this doesn't necessarily mean the merged entity would be inclined

        "The proposed 3 / O2 merger was blocked in part due to the impact on MVNOs, but this merger is fine and dandy on those grounds"

        A three and o2 merger would have potentially taken away one physical host of MVNO's forcing them to move or quit and reduce competition. Virgin is an MVNO so it would not carry the same threat. Nothing fishy.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: But this doesn't necessarily mean the merged entity would be inclined

        FTFY: The proposed 3 / O2 merger was blocked by the EU, the UK was always fine and dandy with it.

  4. wolfetone Silver badge

    What a way to look at an acquisition - will the service get worse?

    Why can't they work out whether the acquisition would improve the service?

    1. DJV Silver badge

      Yeah, but look at who is involved - of course, it won't get any better...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      well in fairness identifying what could get worse is the right criteria from a competition perspective isn'it it?

      The working assumption is that deals are OK unless a problem in found. Innocent until found guilty, as there isn't a "crime" in combining forces.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      acquisitions and mergers serve only one purpose and always have, it isn't for the betterment of society or service improvements.

  5. Plest Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Now you only have one choice for a complete shit service instead of two!

    Degrade standards? How the heck is that even possible? O2 and VM are both utterly shite at what they do.

    So nothing new going forward, instead of have two options for an ISP, both of whom are utter shit you can get all your shitty ISP service needs available under just one roof! What an age we live in.

    1. Snar

      Re: Now you only have one choice for a complete shit service instead of two!

      I've been with VM (and Birmingham Cable previously) for over 20 years, going from 512kbps to 1Gbps and I've been really pleased with the service. I've heard more tales of woe concerning crappy xDSL services.

      1. tin 2

        Re: Now you only have one choice for a complete shit service instead of two!

        But have you ever had a fault? How that's dealt with is the mark of a good or not-so-good provider.

        1. Roland6 Silver badge

          Re: Now you only have one choice for a complete shit service instead of two!

          But have you ever had a fault?

          Is not having ever had a fault (line or customer service), the mark of a good or not-so-good provider?

        2. Snar

          Re: Now you only have one choice for a complete shit service instead of two!

          Yes. I had an issue when I upgraded to 1Gbps where the s/n ratio wasn't sufficient for DOCSIS3 and a new cable was pulled to my home. But I think the real mark of a good provider is not having the problems that need to be put right in the first place.

          We've had a few issues with power outages which have been outside VM's ken, but the network seemed to come back up as soon as power was restored.

          There have been outages when they have worked on the network, but in the 2 decades that I've been with them, I'd be surprised if I've seen 5 days down-time.

          I don't mind having a pop at a service provider that doesn't, but in my experience I've consistently been very pleased with what VM have provided me. I don't have any connections (apart from cable) with the company and if I thought they were shit I wouldn't be with them.

          But the alternative of crappy xDSL fills me with dread.

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022