Telefonica CK Hutchinson

Europe says yes to £10.25 billion Three/O2 merger

28 May 2020 | Melanie Mingas

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The European Commission has reversed its decision to block Telefonica from selling O2 to CK Hutchison, the parent company of Three.

The decision was made in 2016 by then EU competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager, who said the merger would reduce consumer choice and raise prices.

In response, CK Hutchison took the Commission to court, arguing a five-year price freeze and billions of pounds in investments would be good for the industry and customer. However, Vestager maintained that innovation and network infrastructure development would be jeopardised by the deal.

Today that decision was annulled, paving the way for the £10.25 billion merger to go ahead.

However, it was reported earlier this year that Telefonica is now involved in talks to merge O2 with Liberty Global’s Virgin Media, so there could be more changes on the horizon.

Capacity will have more on this story tomorrow.