The UK’s Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has invited submissions as it examines BSkyB’s proposed acquisition of the fixed line business of Telefonica’s UK subsidiary O2. The competition authority has said it will consider whether the deal ‘has resulted in the creation of a relevant merger situation under the merger provisions of the Enterprise Act 2002 and, if so, whether the creation of that situation has resulted, or may be expected to result, in a substantial lessening of competition’. Interested parties have until 4 April 2013 to respond to the call for comment.
As previously reported by CommsUpdate, earlier this month it was announced that alternative fixed line voice and broadband provider BSkyB had agreed to purchase O2 UK’s fixed line operations for up to GBP200 million (USD303.4 million). Under the terms of the deal, BSkyB would pay GBP180 million to take over roughly 500,000 subscribers from its Spanish-backed rival, with a further payment of up to GBP20 million dependent on meeting certain milestones regarding migrating customers. The sale would allow O2 to focus on the mobile market, whilst BSkyB noted that the deal would put the telco ahead of rival Virgin Media as the nation’s second largest broadband provider by subscribers behind BT Group.