Feeds

Time running out for OFT T-Orange intervention

Or it'll be over to EU

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

The FT reports that the Office of Fair Trading is about to grab the T-Orange investigation, though the regulator still has two days to make the decision.

According to the report, the OFT will today formally petition the European Commission to have the case referred. This will allow local evaluation of how the merger of T-Mobile and Orange will impact the UK mobile market, with a view to what restrictions should be placed on such a merger.

That would be a blow to the companies who are merging, who were hoping that an EU-level investigation, with its 90-day turnaround, would wave through the merger with minimal concessions on either side. But, conversely, it would be a victory for the competition, who'd like nothing more than a lengthy investigation during which Orange and T-Mobile are effectively paralysed in the UK market.

The OFT has been consulting on if it should request control of the investigation since the middle of January, It received numerous submissions before the deadline of the 21st, since which the matter has been under consideration. That consideration can only last until Friday, after which the EU will start its own investigation and the UK's OFT will effectively be cut out.

Regardless of who handles the investigation, it's clear that T-Orange will have to hand over some radio spectrum - which is why the companies have been declaring that they'd never do such a thing. This means that Ofcom can't auction off any of the Digital Dividend until this matter is resolved, so it's not just the mobile phone industry that's hanging on the line. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Same old iPad? NO. The new 'soft SIMs' are BIG NEWS
AppleSIM 'ware to allow quick switch of carriers
Brits: Google, can you scrape 60k pages from web, pleeease
Hey, c'mon Choc Factory, it's our 'right to be forgotten'
Of COURSE Stephen Elop's to blame for Nokia woes, says author
'Google did have some unique propositions for Nokia'
FCC, Google cast eye over millimetre wireless
The smaller the wave, the bigger 5G's chances of success
It's even GRIMMER up North after MEGA SKY BROADBAND OUTAGE
By 'eck! Eccles cake production thrown into jeopardy
Mobile coverage on trains really is pants
You thought it was just *insert your provider here*, but now we have numbers
Don't mess with Texas ('cos it's getting Google Fiber and you're not)
A bit late, but company says 1Gbps Austin network almost ready to compete with AT&T
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.