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Vodafone, Three deal under scrutiny for urgent solutions

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In Short:

The antitrust regulator in Britain is concerned that the merger between Vodafone and Hutchison’s Three UK could lead to higher prices for consumers and lower investment. The $19 billion deal would reduce the number of mobile networks in Britain from four to three. The companies have been given five days to provide solutions to address these concerns, otherwise an in-depth investigation will be conducted.


UK Regulator Expresses Concern Over Vodafone and Hutchison Merger

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) in Britain has raised concerns about the proposed merger between Vodafone’s UK operation and Hutchison’s Three UK unit. The $19 billion deal, announced last year, would reduce the number of mobile networks in the country from four to three.

Investigation and Concerns

The CMA has stated that the merger could potentially leave consumers with higher prices and lower investment. The regulator has given the two companies five working days to provide “meaningful solutions” to address these concerns. Without satisfactory solutions, the merger will face an in-depth investigation.

Julie Bon, the Phase 1 decision-maker at the CMA, mentioned that the claims made by Vodafone and Three regarding the benefits of the deal have not been backed by sufficient evidence.

In-Depth Investigation

The in-depth investigation, known as a “phase 2” investigation, can last up to 24 weeks with a possible eight-week extension. This investigation will examine the potential impact of the merger on competition, prices, and investment in the telecom sector.

As part of the merger, Vodafone and Three have committed to investing £11 billion ($13.87 billion) in 5G networks. They argue that this investment will lead to faster deployment of new technologies and benefit consumers in the long run.

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