The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has today cleared BT to take over EE.
The £12.5 billion acquisition will bring together the UK’s largest fixed telecoms business and the UK’s largest mobile telecoms business.
Concerns about the merger were raised by other operators in the UK telecoms industry, as well as by customers. But the CMA says it doesn’t believe the merger will have a significant impact on competition.
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John Wotton, inquiry chair, says: “Since our provisional findings, we have taken extra time to consider responses in detail but the evidence does not show that this merger is likely to cause significant harm to competition or the interests of consumers.
“The retail mobile services market in the UK is competitive, with four main mobile providers and a substantial number of smaller operators. As BT is a smaller operator in mobile, it is unlikely that the merger will have a significant effect. Similarly, EE is only a minor player in retail broadband, so again it is unlikely that the merger will have a significant effect in this market.”
What does the merger mean for me?
BT says the deal is yet to complete – this is expected to happen at the end of this month - so EE customers are still part of EE for now, not BT.
As such, BT says it’s too early to say what the acquisition means in real terms for customers. It adds that information on this will be announced in due course. Sign up to the Moneywise newsletter to get the latest news on this as soon as it’s available.
In similar news, the European Commission is still investigating whether to allow the company that owns mobile provider, Three, to buy rival firm, O2.