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CMA to launch in-depth probe into Vodafone's merger with Three

Thu, 04th Apr 2024 07:37

(Sharecast News) - The Competition and Markets Authority said on Thursday that it will launch an in-depth investigation into the planned £15bn merger between Vodafone and CK Hutchison's Three that was announced last year.

On 22 March, the CMA told Vodafone and Three that they had until 2 April to address the regulator's competition concerns or face a full investigation.

The regulator said they needed to provide "meaningful" solutions to concerns the merger would lead to higher prices for customers and lower investment.

"Whilst Vodafone and Three have made a number of claims about how their deal is good for competition and investment, the CMA has not seen sufficient evidence to date to back these claims," it said at the time.

"These warrant an in-depth investigation unless Vodafone and Three can come forward with solutions."

But on 28 March, both parties informed the CMA that they would not be offering any such undertakings.

The CMA said on Thursday that it was launching the phase 2 probe "on the basis that, on the information currently available to it, it is or may be the case that this merger may be expected to result in a substantial lessening of competition within a market or markets in the United Kingdom".

The regulator has until 18 September to carry out the investigation.

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