UK government approves Vodafone and Three UK merger

The UK government has given the greenlight to the Vodafone and CK Hutchison for the merger of mobile operators Three UK and Vodafone UK.

Vodafone Three merger expected

Source: Vodafone

The UK Secretary of State has approved the proposed joint venture under certain conditions.

As part of the approval, the government has ordered the companies to establish a National Security Committee within the merger to oversee sensitive work could have an impact on the country’s the national security, that will provide regular updates and information to HM Government. The pair must also form technical group within the National Security Committee which will monitor a specified list of topics relating to cyber, physical and personnel security.

In addition, the companies must ensure the merger’s network migration planning is subject to review by an external government-approved auditor and they must put in place specified arrangements for the governance of merger.

The UK merger which was announced last year will see Vodafone will hold a 51% stake in the combined company, with CK Hutchison Holdings taking 49%.

Vodafone said that the merged company would reach for than 99% of the UK population with its 5GH network, delivering a sixfold increase in average data speeds by 2034.

The partners have committed to invest £11 billion in the UK over 10 years to create an advanced 5G network, which they say will deliver up to £5 billion a year in economic benefits by 2030.

The merger is currently under investigation by the competition watchdog the Competition and Markets Authority, regarding concerns that the deal may result in higher mobile prices and reduce investment. The CMA launched its initial Phase 1 investigation into the merger in January after it was notified by Vodafone UK and Three UK.

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