Merger plans 'should not damage consumers too badly'

4 February 2010 — 3:49 PM

Merger is to be scrutinised

The interests of consumers should not be too damaged by the planned joint-venture of T-Mobile UK and Orange UK, an expert has suggested,

The Office of Fair Trading made a request to the European Commission to review the UK aspects of the proposed merger.

However, one expert suggests that consumers should still be provided with a range of options when considering an upgrade of their used phones.

Conrad Longmore, editor of Mobile Gazette, said: "There would still be four major operators fighting it out. While less competition is bad news for consumers, the overall effects are likely to be limited."

He added that the move could be positive, as T-Mobile's financial position in the UK was unlikely to be sustainable long term, meaning that a closure or merger of the network "was likely".

A report from Orange when the plans were initially revealed stated that the merger is subject to the approval of the Board of Directors of France Telecom and the Supervisory Board of Deutsche Telekom.

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