U.K. Competition Authority Clears BT’s £12.5 Billion Purchase of EE

Britain's Competition and Markets Authority has officially cleared BT Group Plc’s £12.5 billion ($18 billion) purchase of Deutsche Telekom AG and Orange SA’s British wireless venture EE Ltd.

The watchdog had given preliminary approval to the deal last October.

The CMA said the merger was not expected to result in substantial lessening of competition in any U.K. market.

It originally said the purchase wouldn’t cause problems because the two businesses operated in largely separate markets.

BT’s focus on supplying phone, broadband and pay television services have limited overlap with EE’s mobile communication business, the regulator added.

"The retail mobile services market in the U.K. is competitive, with four main mobile providers and a substantial number of smaller operators," John Wotton, chairman of the CMA inquiry, said.

"As BT is a smaller operator in mobile, it is unlikely that the merger will have a significant effect. Similarly, EE is only a minor player in retail broadband, so again it is unlikely that the merger will have a significant effect in this market."


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