British telecommunications giant BT has been moving to acquire leading United Kingdom carrier EE since February last year. The deal, which was reportedly worth USD $19 billion, would spell more services for the telecommunications giant such as television, mobile and broadband fixed-line.
The Competition and Markets Authority has been considering if the merger between the companies would impact telecommunications services, and in recent news, the CMA had found out that it was not expected to result in a substantial downsizing of the competition in the U.K. market.
"Having considered all the evidence, the group does not provisionally believe that, in a dynamic and evolving sector, it is more likely than not that BT/EE will be able to use its position to damage competition or the interests of consumers," said John Wotton, the CMA's Inquiry Chair of the deal.
The CMA provisionally thinks that the retail mobile market in the United Kingdom is competitive as it is. BT is a smaller operator in the mobile industry, and the merger would unlikely shake the competition, according to Wotton. He also notes that by the same token the merger will unlikely have a huge impact on the competition, with EE only being a minor player.
Of course, BT is welcoming the news and has issued the following statement regarding the provisional nod. "We're pleased that the CMA has provisionally approved BT's acquisition of EE," says Gavin Patterson, the company's chief executive of BT.
According to reports, however, BT still has to has one hurdle to go over before the deal finally completes. Vodafone and TalkTalk see that BT should spin off its Openreach broadband infrastructure service so that it could promote healthy competition and altogether a better service.
The CMA will be publishing the full report soon, and those that are interested in reading the provisional findings from the Authority can read it in the United Kingdom's government website.