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European competition authorities have formally blocked Three’s attempt to take over O2, a move that was widely anticipated. This comes despite a number of concessions made by Three’s owners, Hutchison, designed specifically to address competition concerns.


  • Hostility from the national regulator (Ofcom) and competition authority (CMA) coupled with an unsympathetic EU Competition Commission always made this a tricky one to get through.

Features and Benefits

  • Learn why the Three/O2 merger was blocked by European competition authorities.
  • Learn why Ofcom wanted to preserve a four-player market.

Key questions answered

  • What concessions did the EU Competition Commission want?
  • What concessions have been offered elsewhere to get similar deals passed?

Table of contents

Ovum view

  • Summary
  • The concessions the Commission wanted went beyond what anyone was prepared to offer
  • Ofcom fought tirelessly to preserve a four-player market and feared losing the "disruptive" operator
  • Maintaining the status quo is not an option for either Three or O2


  • Further reading
  • Author

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