Finally T-Mobile and Orange can have a sigh of relief. Both the network operators in the UK are now in a celebration mood as the European Commission (EC) has cleared the proposed merger deal between the two.
Online PR News – 12-March-2010 – – T-Mobile and Orange leading telecom players are now on their way to turn into the UK's largest mobile network operator. The new formed joint venture will also enjoy a total customer-base of around 29.5 million in the UK, a big hit for the competitors. However, the EC approval has come with some conditions.
EC has asked for an amendment in an existing network sharing agreement with Hutchison Whampoa's 3G UK (3UK). The step has been taken with a view to keep the UK mobile market with sufficient competition. The European body has further asked for the sale of 25 per cent of the combined radio spectrum of both network operators in the 1800 MHz band. The above measures by the EC has let the UK's Office of Fair Trading (OFT) to withdraw its request for an inquiry into the proposed merger deal.
It is to be noted that many consumer groups in the UK came forward to protest against the proposed merger deal between T-Mobile (http://www.bestcontractmobilephonedeals.co.uk/t-mobile_nt.asp) and Orange network (http://www.bestcontractmobilephonedeals.co.uk/orange_nt.asp) as they feared the tie-up will result in the weakening competition in the market. As per the reports, the joint venture is likely to begin in April, this year. And, the two mobile brands will continue to be used for a minimum of next 18 months. The new formed joint venture will see members from both telecom companies in the board. Both the UK network operators T-Mobile and Orange have now plans to inititate the merger process soon.