Connected Research

Union policy research in the 21st century

Orange and T-Mobile rubber stamp merger proposal

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Orange and T-Mobile have announced that they have formally signed their agreement to establish a 50:50 joint venture in respect of their UK interests, and on the basis of the ‘merger of equals’ terms of the transaction they announced back in September.

The proposal now requires the approval of the relevant regulatory authorities, including Ofcom; the press release comments only that this is ‘expected in the first half of 2010’.

The conditions that might be attached to that approval are evidently unclear as yet. From a trade union perspective, we need to note that divestment-based conditions are particularly unwelcome in the context of the added uncertainty and threats to terms and conditions of employment that they embody when employees are dragged from the employer they signed up with to another; from a competition-based perspective, the remedies need to recognise that this is a proposal which sharply undermines a hard-fought for position of more or less perfect competition between the four established operators.

Another lesson that, for all the rhetoric to the contrary, there is probably not much that is more inimical to a senior entrepreneur than a state of true competition.

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Written by Calvin

06/11/2009 at 8:03 pm

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