The European Commission has referred the proposed merger of Virgin Media and Virgin Mobile with O2 to the UK’s European Commission for investigation.
It follows a formal request from the CMA that it should be responsible for the matter.
“These are incredibly important UK markets, that continue to evolve, and the deal needs to be carefully reviewed to make sure that consumers are protected,” said CMA chief executive Andrea Coscelli. “We have worked closely with the European Commission so far and we will build on the work that has already been carried out to make sure that the case can be investigated as quickly and efficiently as possible.”
Virgin and O2 have asked the CMA to move quickly to the in-depth Phase 2 stage of its review through a ‘fast-track’ process.
The CMA is now seeking views on whether it should go ahead with fast-tracking the merger with views requested by November 26.
The O2 mobile network is the largest in the UK with 34 million customers including the Tesco Mobile and Giffgaff.
Virgin Media has 5.27 million broadband subscribers, 3.69 million TV subs and 3.18 million mobile telephony customers.