The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) said the UK’s smallest network by market share, 3, would not be hindered by the joint venture between T-Mobile and Orange.
It said its most poignant concern regarding the T-Mobile and Orange joint venture is the ability for 3 to compete, however it found that churn from T-Mobile and Orange onto 3 is higher than its market share suggests.
The OFT said: “3’s role as a driver of competition in UK retail mobile telephony appears to be greater than either of the parties.
“The parties submit that the UK mobile market is one of the most competitive mobile markets in Europe and will remain so following the establishment of the JV, as there will still be three other mobile network operators, namely O2, Vodafone and 3.
“The parties submit that since most other countries have three mobile network operators, this would still constitute a market structure which is exceptional in Europe and that the remaining four networks as well as the large number of MVNOs and resellers will continue to constitute effective competitive constraints for the new entity.”