BT to argue EE case to the CMA

5 May 2015

bt-logo BT is to go to the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) to argue its case over the £12.5bn takeover of EE, in what must be the most amount of combined acronyms we've ever covered. It looks like we're writing about the dregs left in a Scrabble bag.

Anyway, BT have to see the competition watchdog this week and make a formal submission after they were grassed up by TalkTalk, Sky and Vodafone, who are all 'concerned' about this sale. They think it'll give BT far too much power to wield. They're all worried about BT getting their paws on all that mobile mast infrastructure.

BT's rival companies are almost certain to argue that BT will have to sell of bits of their mobile spectrum because, when you add it to the spectrum held by EE, its holdings would breach a cap imposed by Ofcom. However, if BT can stall all this chat until next year, new spectrum rights will mean BT's airwaves share would fall under the Ofcom cap.

That said, it has been rumoured that BT might be okay with flogging some of their airwaves, so they can grab more 800MHz airwaves when regulators look instead, at the Three/O2's merger that has been proposed.

The telecoms behemoth are invariably going to try and convince authorities that the deal will benefit consumers, because when similar things have gone through in Europe, prices have actually lowered when mobile, broadband, landline and subscription TV has all been bundled together. Will that mean real-life price drops for everyone month-on-month? Not if you are forced into buying four products at the same time, rather than shopping around and cherry picking your favourites.

We'll just have to wait and see...

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