BT boss in shock 'bigger is better' claim as £12.5bn EE bid heats up

Pleads with watchdog not to delay planned buyout

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BT claimed on Monday that its planned gobble of EE was a good thing for competition in the UK – despite the fact that such market consolidation would make the former state monopoly more powerful.

It called on the UK's competition watchdog to fast track the first stage of its merger probe into its proposed £12.5bn buyout of EE.

BT boss Gavin Patterson said in a canned statement:

A larger BT will be able to invest and innovate even more than now, something that’s good for jobs and good for customers.

The acquisition will lead to greater competition, given our history as a natural and willing wholesaler, enabling other companies to use the networks we own.

The telecoms giant argued that competition would not be stifled in either the fixed or mobile markets in Blighty.

BT added that it had asked the Competition and Markets Authority to swiftly move on from the first phase of its merger inquiry, to allow the regulator "to consider any complex issues in depth and without delay".

The CMA said it would publish its decision within the next three weeks.

BT added that the company didn't expect its planned takeover of EE to be completed until March 2016 – some 15 months after it swooped on the mobile operator. ®

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