EC clears Orange/T-Mobile JV


The European Commission (EC) has cleared the proposed joint venture between Orange and T-Mobile in the UK.

Both parties are keen to see cost-savings from the project as soon as possible, and the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has withdrawn objections to the proposal after the protagonists agreed to waive 25 per cent of their valuable 1800MHz spectrum and also to continue network sharing with 3.

The EC identified no competition concerns. EC commissioner Joaquín Almunia said: “I am happy that we managed to resolve the compeition issues in this case quickly in close cooperation with the Member State concerned.”

Orange and T-Mobile will embark upon the legal proceedure to start operations as a pair in the next few weeks. The joint venture will see the pair leapfrog O2 to take 37 per cnet of UK market share.