The proposed merger of Deutsche Telekom’s T-Mobile UK and France Telecom’s Orange UK subsidiaries has been formally approved by the European Commission (EC).
The new business will have a combined customer base of around 29.5 million, making it the UK’s number-one player in the mobile market.
The joint-venture company is expected to generate estimated gains in revenue with a net present value in excess of €4bn (£3.5bn).
‘Now the way is clear for pooling our resources to create an outstanding high-speed mobile broadband network in one of the most competitive markets in Europe,’ said Tim Höttges, chief financial officer of Deutsche Telekom.
In order to progress the merger, Deutsche Telekom and France Telecom offered to divest 2x15MHz of their joint GSM spectrum – totalling 1,800MHz – by the end of 2011.
Of the divested spectrum, 2x10MHz must be cleared by 30 September 2013 and a further 2x5MHz needs to be cleared by 30 September 2015.
The T-Mobile and Orange brands will continue to operate in the UK for at least 18 months after the completion of the transaction, which is anticipated in spring.