www.WirelessFederation.com/news: In order to to scrutinise the proposed merger of their UK mobile phone businesses, France Telecom and Deutsche Telekom are pressing for regulators in Brussels rather than London. The telecoms groups are
hopeful that European Commission’s inquiry would be shorter than one by UK competition authorities.
On the other hand, consumers feel that the proposed merger of France Telecom’s Orange UK and Deutsche Telekom’s T-Mobile UK, Britain’s third and fourth-largest mobile operators respectively will have a negative impact on the competition.
The two groups hope that Brussels will hold on to the case and the final say is of Brussels even if the UK authorities could ask the Commission to send the case to London. France Telecom and Deutsche Telekom are preparing the documents about the merger are under preparation and the companies may submit it to the Commission before Christmas, although it may not happen until January.
The length of the regulatory scrutiny will partly depend on whether France Telecom and Deutsche Telekom are willing to make concessions. Last month the two groups said they saw no need for major concessions, such as giving up valuable radio spectrum.