Vodafone AirTouch merger with Mannesmann

Vodafone AirTouch has secured agreement for its £106bn merger with Mannesmann. However, Mario Monti, competition minister for the European Commission, is preparing a vigorous investigation of the merged company’s power in the EU marketplace. The minister is also keen to ensure that the disposal of Orange, the UK mobile operator, is completed quickly as a fully operational company and not an asset-stripped shell.