The European Commission (EC) has finally approved the merger of Orange and T-Mobile in the UK, creating the biggest player in the mobile network operator market with a share of around 37 per cent.
A week later than was rumoured, European regulators today gave the green light to the deal which was first announced in September last year.
However, the decision is conditional on Orange and T-Mobile amending the existing network sharing agreement with 3 to ensure sufficient competition in the market, and the "divesture of a quarter of the combined spectrum of the merging parties in the 1800MHz band", which is key to providing next-generation LTE services.
The Office of Fair Trading submitted a request to the EC early last month insisting that the UK watchdog should deal with any UK aspects of the proposed tie up, but has now withdrawn its request, having been satisfied by the concessions offered by Orange and T-Mobile parent companies France Telecom and Deutsche Telekom.
"I am happy that we managed to resolve the competition issues in this case quickly in close co-operation with the Member State concerned," said European Competition Commissioner Joaquín Almunia in a statement.
Cotton seedling freezes to death as Chang'e-4 shuts down for the Moon's 14-day lunar night
Fortnite easily out-earns PUBG, Assassin's Creed Odyssey and Red Dead Redemption 2 in 2018
Meteor showers as a service will be visible for about 100 kilometres in all directions
Saturn's rings only formed in the past 100 million years, suggests analysis of Cassini space probe data
New findings contradict conventional belief that Saturn's rings were formed along with the planet about 4.5 billion years ago