11th April 2016
In response to the open letter published today from the CMA to the European Competition Commissioner, Margrethe Vestager, regarding the proposed merger between O2 and Three, Tom Mockridge, Virgin Media CEO, said:
“Less than three months ago the CMA approved the merger of BT/EE, without remedies, despite concerns that this concentrated too much valuable spectrum in the hands of one provider. BT/EE now has 45% of total UK spectrum, including 60% of the higher frequency spectrum best-suited to 4G services, particularly in urban areas. In comparison Vodafone has 28% of UK spectrum, O2 has 15%, and Three has 12%. This is the very reason it is now difficult to create a new, fourth mobile network operator.
“A combined O2/Three would provide a counter balance to the strength of BT/EE, offering an alternative source of capacity to other providers who will drive competition in their own right.