Earlier this year, Hutchison Whampoa announced a £10 billion deal to acquire the UK mobile carrier O2, which would result in O2 merging with the Three network.
However, since that time, it seems as though the deal has been blocked by EU regulators, which was announced by the European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager on Twitter.
According to the Tweet, it was blocked by the regulators as they believed that it would be bad for consumers and competition between mobile carriers in the UK.
Commission has decided to block Hutchison's plan to take over O2 in the UK. Why? To serve UK consumers – affordable prices and innovation.
— Margrethe Vestager (@vestager) May 11, 2016
She explained further with the following:
Allowing Hutchison to takeover O2 at the terms they proposed would have been bad for UK consumers and bad for the UK mobile sector. We had strong concerns that consumers would have had less choice finding a mobile package that suits their needs and paid more than without the deal, says Vestager. “It would also have hampered innovation and the development of network infrastructure in the UK, which is a serious concern especially for fast moving markets. The remedies offered by Hutchison were not sufficient to prevent this.”
However, that might not be the end as it has been rumoured that a number of other companies are interested in taking over O2, including Liberty Global, who own Virgin Media.
However, no details on any further details have been confirmed yet.