Press Release: February 22, 2010
The main cause of concern for UK mobile phone competitors is that the merger will cause a significant reduction in terms of competition in the market. The potential network coverage of Orange and T-Mobile combined is due to increase from 3,000 masts to a whopping 16,000 across the UK this year.
As a means of appeasing rival mobile phone operators, Orange and T-Mobile has already agreed to relinquish 25% of its 1800 MHz spectrum to competitors, known as the wavelength frequency set for the quickest mobile broadband internet.
Many of the UKs mobile consumer groups have attempted to kick up a fuss and draw awareness to the fact that the merger would likely lead to a spike in the cost of mobile phone contracts.
Peter Vicary-Smith, chief executive of Which?, admitted: It's only right that a deal affecting UK consumers should be scrutinised by UK regulators."
The ultimate decision for the European Commission will be made prior to 1st March, when the official deadline has been declared.
It will be interesting to note the reaction of fellow UK mobile phone operators if the appeal is upheld and the merger is allowed to take place. There have been murmurings of a potential merger between O2 and Vodafone over the last 12 months and this could intensify if the expected happens.
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