Approval has been granted for the merger of T-Mobile and Orange in the UK by the EU. The approval was conditional on an amendment to the network sharing agreement between T-Mobile and Three as the EU were concerned that the merger could threaten the viability of Three, the smallest mobile network operator in the UK.
The other concession was that the combined network would have to give up 25% of its mobile spectrum within the 1800MHz band. Without doing so, the 60MHz contiguous spectrum held would be significantly larger than any of the other networks giving it the ability to run LTE, the next generation of mobile broadband services, at the best possible speeds within the current spectrum.
In light of these concessions, the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) have withdrawn their request to review the case, giving a green light for the merger to go ahead. This will create the UK's largest mobile network with a market share of around 37%.