Vodafone: CMA warns Vodafone against proposed merger

Mar 21, 2024 | Posted by Abdul-Rahman Oladimeji

The UK's Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has said it's concerned that Vodafone and Three's proposed merger could lead to mobile customers facing higher prices and reduced service quality. This comes after a 40-day review into the £15 billion ($18.5bn) merger, set to create the UK's biggest telco with more than 27 million customers.

According to CMA, its first investigation found that Vodafone UK and Three UK provide important alternatives for mobile customers, while it noted that Three UK has been the cheapest of the four mobile network operators. "The CMA is concerned that combining these two businesses will reduce rivalry between mobile operators to win new customers. Competitive pressure can help to keep prices low, as well as provide an important incentive for network operators to improve their services, including by investing in network quality," the watchdog said in a statement.

"Our initial assessment of this deal has identified concerns which could lead to higher prices for customers and lower investment in UK mobile networks. These warrant an in-depth investigation unless Vodafone and Three can come forward with solutions."