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Orange and T-Mobile Get Approval for UK Merger

02 марта 2010

After making a couple of additional concessions, Orange and T-Mobile have secured the necessary permissions to merge their UK networks.

The UK's Office of Fair Trading (OFT) had expressed concerns about the impact of the merger on the retail mobile telephone market, especially on Hutchison 3G given the infrastructure sharing agreement it currently has with T-Mobile.

Separately, the OFT was concerned that the joint venture could have prevented competition emerging in the 4G market given the particular spectrum holdings that the company would enjoy.

Since then, Orange and T-Mobile have offered remedies to the EC. In particular, the parties have offered to divest certain quantities of their 1800MHz spectrum, and have reached an agreement with 3 which ensures that Hutchison 3G's ability to compete in the retail market going forward is not affected as a result of the transaction.

The OFT has now formally withdrawn its official request to the European Commission, and the EC has itself announced that it has cleared the Orange/T-Mobile joint venture.

The Board of the new joint venture company will have balanced representation from Deutsche Telekom and France Telecom. The management team would be led by Tom Alexander, currently CEO of Orange UK, as CEO and Richard Moat, currently CEO of T-Mobile UK, as COO. The governance of the joint venture would attribute extensive operational decision-making to the management team.

The T-Mobile UK and Orange UK brands will be maintained separately for 18 months after completion of the transaction. During that period management will review branding alternatives for the joint venture and will develop a new branding strategy recommendation for shareholder approval.

Источник: Cellular news

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