The $21 billion BT-MCI merger has finally obtained EC clearance, but only after the partners made major concessions.
Foremost among these was a promise to sell 10 per cent of their precious combined transatlantic submarine cable capacity. Also, MCI has to sell its UK-based audio conferencing company called Daraome. The EC said Daraome, coupled with BT?s services, would have dominated this market.
Other requirements include BT selling usage of its UK circuit to other operators, to enable them to provide end to end voice telephone services between the UK and US.
In a statement, the EC said: ?After investigation the Commission has concluded that the proposed merger, as originally notified, would have created or reinforced a dominant position in the markets for international voice telephony services on the UK to US route and for audioconferencing services in the UK. However, the Commission considers that the undertakings proposed by the parties during the proceedings are sufficient to address the competition concerns.?
The merger is still being scrutinised by the US Federal Communications Commission and the US Justice Department, which will publish their results at the end of the year.
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