It was back in May this year that the European Commission signaled its distrust of major mobile operators and blocked the merger of O2 and Three in the UK, citing concerns over competition, quality of service and pricing.
"The significantly reduced competition in the market would likely have resulted in higher prices for mobile services in the UK and less choice for consumers than without the deal.
The takeover would also likely have had a negative impact on quality of service for UK consumers by hampering the development of mobile network infrastructure in the UK.
Finally, the takeover would have reduced the number of mobile network operators willing to host other mobile operators on their networks."
The view was shared by the UK's own competition authority, the CMA, before the EC ruling.
For the first time since the merger was denied, David Dyson, Three UK CEO, discussed the decision at a business update this week, saying:
"I think it was the wrong decision. UK consumers have been robbed of the best mobile infrastructure in Europe. Italy will end up with better infrastructure than UK in the short term."
There were benefits to be gained from such a merger for customers, namely a bigger network with a much broader spectrum of coverage, but alas, it wasn't meant to be this time around, and from David Dyson's comments, there are no more mergers planned for the foreseeable future;
"We have to accept that decision, move on and work with what we've got. Another merger is not in the pipeline."
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