The end of the beginning: Vodafone/Three merger

26 January 2024

The CMA has announced the launch of its Phase 1 review of the proposed Vodafone/Three merger, with the timeline suggesting a Phase 1 conclusion in late March and a Phase 2 decision around September/October.

The main focus is likely to be whether the merger would lead to a substantial lessening in competition (SLC), with the companies' varied market positioning helpful in this regard.

The merger's prospective 'countervailing factors' are substantial, with an estimated 25-50% increase in sector capacity further strengthening the imperative for the operators to get customers signed up.

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