“Commission prohibits Hutchison’s proposed acquisition of Telefónica UK”.
That’s the headline of an EU press release and the result of an investigation into a proposed merger of two UK operators—their verdict elegantly illustrated by the infographic you see here. Less choice equals higher prices… who knew?
The Commission cites two additional reasons for not giving the merger the green light: jeopardizing the future development of network infrastructure and one fewer carrier willing to host an MVNO.
For any Canadian concerned about the implications of Bell’s proposed acquisition of MTS, the UK might seem like some sort of magical fairy land where dreams come true and regulatory bodies have grown a pair.
Peter Nowak reports that mobile users in the UK enjoy some of the lowest prices in the EU, with an average revenue per user of $24.15 USD—just over half of the $46.58 USD paid by the average Canadian subscriber. He poses an obvious and important question:
If UK consumers would be harmed by having fewer service providers, how will that not be the case in Canada?
It’s something that our Competition Bureau, CRTC and Ministry of Innovation, Science and Economic Development would do well to consider before they rule on the Bell/MTS deal.