Published On: Fri, Jan 15th, 2016

BT Receives CMA’S Approval On Acquisition of EE

BT Group

BT Group will now become the UK’s biggest fixed-broadband and mobile provider in the UK.

BT (LON:BT.A) released a statement on Friday morning saying it welcomed the Competition and Markets Authority’s (CMA) decision to approve its acquisition of EE, unconditionally without remedies.

The acquistion of EE will create a telecoms giant which will provide mobile, fixed-line phones, broadband and TV to an estimated 35m customers.

BT said “the CMA’s decision paves the way for BT to complete the acquisition of EE in the coming weeks and to incorporate the business into the wider BT Group in the months to come”.

The CMA said the £12.5bn deal was not likely to cause significant harm to competition in the UK. John Wotton, chairman of the CMA inquiry said:

“As BT is a smaller operator in mobile, it is unlikely that the merger will have a significant effect. Similarly, EE is only a minor player in retail broadband, so again it is unlikely that the merger will have a significant effect in this market.”

It was noted that BT will create a distinct line of business for EE adding to its current divisions which are broken down into Global Services, BT Business, BT Consumer, BT Wholesale, Openreach and BT Technology, Service & Operations. The new line of business will be led by Marc Allera who will become the of CEO EE following the completion of the deal.

Chief Executive of BT Group, Gavin Patterson said:

“It is great news that the CMA has approved our acquisition of EE. We are pleased they have found there to be no significant lessening of competition following an in-depth investigation lasting more than ten months.

“The combined BT and EE will be a digital champion for the UK, providing high levels of investment and driving innovation in a highly competitive market. I have no doubt that consumers, businesses and communities will benefit as we combine the power of fibre broadband with the convenience of leading edge mobile services. I look forward to welcoming EE into the BT family”.

Currently BT controls 31% of the fixed-broadband market, according to Ofcom figures, whilst also owning 37.6% of home phone traffic. The merger will add EE’s 33.8% control of the mobile sector making BT the UK’s biggest service provider.

Following today’s approval BT will now commence the formal process of completing the deal. In the statement it noted that a prospectus will be issued in the week commencing January 25 and it is expected that the deal is set to close on January 29 when Deutsche Telekom and Orange will receive shares in BT.

On completion of the deal Deutsche Telekom will be a twelve percent shareholder of BT and Orange will be a four percent shareholder.

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