The British competition regulator has asked to review the merger between Liberty Global’s Virgin Media and Telefonica’s O2 instead of Brussels, because any impact on consumers will only be felt in the UK and after Brexit, reported Reuters.
The two companies have agreed to merge their British businesses in a US$38 billion deal that will pose much stronger competition to market leader BT.
“Ultimately, this is a decision for the European Commission, but as the merger will only impact UK consumers – and any effects would only be felt after the end of the transition period – it is only right for the CMA to request it back,” said Andrea Coscelli, head of the Competition and Markets Authority.
A spokesman for Telefonica and Liberty Global said the companies had formally requested the European Commission to approve the merger of Virgin Media and O2 last week, while keeping the CMA and regulator Ofcom fully informed and engaged.
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