Total Telecom – UK competition watchdog says 3UK/O2 deal may cause ‘long-term damage’

Monday’s news prompted Swedish telco consultant Bengt Nordstrom to issue a stern warning of his own.

“If regulators and competition authorities only focus on consumer prices, we will be the last industrialised region in the world to reach 5G,” he said.

Nordstrom said that consolidation will foster long-term investment in infrastructure, and healthy competition at both a network and service level. He also said that preventing the 3UK/O2 deal will put BT, which recently completed its acquisition of EE, at an insurmountable advantage.

“Alex Chisholm believes that the entire mobile network of O2 or 3 should be sold to an appropriate buyer. But who would be the buyer?” The business case for a new entrant in a mature market is very weak,” Nordstrom continued.

“If the EU and national regulators are to base a competition policy on a minimum of four players per market, what they are in reality wishing for is ignorant investors or born-to-lose operators,” he said.

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