EC Sends Review Of Virgin & O2 Deal To UK Regulator

Following a request from the CMA, the European Commission has referred the proposed merger of Virgin Media and Virgin Mobile with O2 to the CMA for investigation.

Following the announcement of the deal on 7 May 2020, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) publicly indicated that it would make a formal request to the European Commission (EC) to review the proposed merger, given its potential impact on competition in several retail and wholesale telecommunication markets in the UK.

The CMA made its formal request for the case to be transferred on 8 October 2020, shortly after the opening of the EC’s investigation. That request has today been accepted by the EC and the case will be transferred for the CMA’s formal investigation to begin immediately.

Andrea Coscelli, Chief Executive at the CMA, said “We welcome the European Commission’s decision to transfer the proposed deal between Virgin and O2 to the CMA for investigation.”

Virgin and O2 have asked the CMA to move quickly to the in-depth Phase 2 stage of its review through a ‘fast-track’ process.

Want more news? Subscribe to CPI’s free daily newsletter for more headlines and updates on antitrust developments around the world.