BT and EE are merging; what it means for consumers
“Ofcom will not now commence the auction process until the European Commission has taken its decision as to whether the proposed merger between Telefonica UK Limited and Hutchison 3G UK Limited is compatible with the common market,” said Ofcom.
Earlier, Telefonica and Hutchinson, owners of O2 and Three respectively, wrote to Ofcom stating that they would seek judicial review if Ofcom went through with the spectrum auction. The £10.25bn merger between O2 and Three will result in a much larger enterprise with resources to bid effectively for new spectrum. The new group will also have to compete with the resulting entity from BT's merger with EE.
When fewer and larger firms dominate a certain market, they have the leverage and power to keep rates high to favour their own businesses and continue to earn profit at the cost of consumers who have little choice.
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Ofcom protects your rights from any malpractices that network operators may indulge in to dominate the market, and thus ensures that you get the best offers as well as the best customer service at a low cost. If the mergers between Three and O2 as well as BT and EE receive official sanction, there will be two large enterprises competing with each other to corner profits. At the same time, they will also be able to invest a lot more in infrastructure to ensure that the best services reach every user across the country.
Ofcom will have to maintain the balance in the future to ensure networks can invest in infrastructure and can also offer the best services in the years to come.