EE's sale to BT given the green light

Competition authority gives the go-ahead

EE bought

EE's acquisition by British telecommunications giant BT has been approved by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) and will be completed on January 29.

The £12.5bn takeover of EE has been give the green light by the CMA after a lengthy probe into how it will affect the competitive landscape, lasting 10 months.

While BT's intent to purchase EE began in early 2015, the CMA's investigation was investigating whether the new deal would harm competition in the sector, meaning the consumer would get an unfair deal.

However, it was concluded that while BT does have a small interest as a mobile provider, and has a strong role in the transmission of the signal for a number of networks, becoming one of the 'big four' mobile networks in the UK wouldn't have a significant impact on these roles.

Rubber stamped

The deal will conclude in the next few weeks, with 29 January the noted date for the completion of the deal, where long-time EE CEO Olaf Swantee will step down to be replaced by Marc Allera, current COO.

The mobile landscape in the UK will change as a result, with BT in a position to offer a larger, more connected suite of digital services across broadband, TV and mobile for a more 'end-to-end' package to the consumer.

Three and O2 are still lined up to merge in order to better compete with the new BT / EE takeover and Vodafone in the UK, although this wasn't thought to have the same anti-competitive ramifications and wasn't investigated by the CMA.

In short: things are going to change in the mobile network space as mergers and acquisitions come into play to give brands more power to offer better deals to consumers - there might be fewer networks to choose from, but the services they'll offer will be greater.

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