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EU: Virgin Media calls on Brussels to allow O2 merger

 |  February 7, 2016

Virgin Media has weighed in to give its blessing over the controversial £10.5bn proposed merger between Three and O2, hoping such a move would give it greater network access.

The intervention follows a pledge by Hong Kong-based CK Hutchison, which owns Three UK, that it would enable competitors in the UK to offer services “on a completely level playing field” if regulators give it the green light.

Earlier this week Ofcom head Sharon White wrote in the Financial Times that she is not keen on the deal believing it would push up prices for consumers. CK Hutchison responded that it would not hike up bills for consumers over five years and plough £5bn of investment into in the UK over that period.

Virgin Media chief exec Tom Mockridge said any competition concerns could be addressed without blocking the proposed O2-Three transaction.

He said: “A combined O2-Three could have more to offer consumers and, crucially, more capacity for other providers who want to drive competition in their own right. With the right remedies, this deal could stimulate, not curb, competition.”

Full content: The Financial Times

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