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UK, EU watchdogs debate over final say in O2-Virgin deal - report

By Caoimhe Toman

Date: Friday 03 Jul 2020

UK, EU watchdogs debate over final say in O2-Virgin deal - report

(Sharecast News) - The UK competition watchdog is in discussions with Brussels for full control over the review of the proposed £31bn merger between Virgin Media and O2.


Both sides want a final say on the transaction but in the request from the UK's Competition Markets Authority, it argues that the merger solely affects UK consumers, therefore shouldn't be Brussels' decision.

"This important merger will only impact consumers in the UK and since any review will likely conclude after the transition period, it is only right for the CMA to request it back now," the Financial Times cited the CMA as saying.

As part of the Brexit transition withdrawal agreement there are specific mechanisms for the CMA to take over mergers that affect solely the UK which would be the case.

Ultimately, it is for Brussels to decide whether it wants to claim jurisdiction, but the report stated EU officials will want to retain jurisdiction.

The European Commission said: "This transaction has not been formally notified to the commission. If a transaction has an EU dimension, it is always up to the companies to notify it to the commission."

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