European Commission said it has cleared the Metroholdings 50:50 joint venture in the UK between DTFT, itself a joint venture between Deutsche Telekom and France Telecom, and UK carrier Energis.
Metroholdings has been set up to build local metropolitan area networks starting with a fibre optic network in the City of London, which will link to Energis's national network and also involve direct links with business customers, the commission said.
"The UK telecommunications market is highly liberalised and competitive, with up to six separate fixed networks (including BT and Cable & Wireless Communications) and over 140 other licensed operators," it said.
"There are also strict interconnection obligations on all public telecommunications organisations, regardless of their market share," it said.
The venture parties have told the commission they do not expect to gain market share in excess of five per cent on any relevant product markets, it said, noting how London represents 18 per cent of the UK's public switched network in sales terms.
The venture partners will compete with each other in providing telecom services to end users, based on the capacity they buy from the venture and will seek to brand and differentiate their products, it said.
The commission said earlier this year it favoured clearing the deal but wanted comments from the industry. Today it said these comments revealed no grounds for further action on the venture.
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