The Competition and Markets Authority wants to review O2 merger with three

Jessica Morris
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The European Commission has until 30 October (Source: Getty)

The UK's competition regulator has asked the European Commission for a review an upcoming deal to create one of the UK's biggest mobile operator to be referred to it.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said that the proposed deal between Hutchinson's Three and Telefonica's O2 threatens to significantly affect competition in the UK mobile markets. This is because a successful deal would cut the number of mobile network operators in the UK to just three.

The European Commission had said last week that it would decide by October 16 whether to clear the deal.

Read more: As Three’s owner eyes up O2, will more sector consolidation prove negative for consumers?

The CMA added that any impact on competition resulting from the merger will likely be limited to UK consumers.

The UK regulator also has experience investigating telecoms mergers thank to its work on BT's takeover of EE which is due out later this month.

The decision on whether to refer the case has to be taken by the European Commission by 30 October.

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