EC could clear T-Mobile's Orange merger this week

The European Commission is preparing to clear the way for the merger of T-Mobile and Orange's UK operations, according to reports.A Telegraph article on Saturday suggested that the Commission would "fast-track" the deal, and that T-Mobile and Orange had agreed to give up a quarter of their 1800MHz spectrum — in a band they would have overwhelmingly dominated as a combined operation.

The European Commission is preparing to clear the way for the merger of T-Mobile and Orange's UK operations, according to reports.

A Telegraph article on Saturday suggested that the Commission would "fast-track" the deal, and that T-Mobile and Orange had agreed to give up a quarter of their 1800MHz spectrum — in a band they would have overwhelmingly dominated as a combined operation.

According to the article, the Commission will announce its approval this week, ahead of its 1 March deadline for doing so.

Other details in the report include the retention of both brands in the UK, and an updated version of T-Mobile's network-sharing deal with 3, which currently sees the two operators sharing 13,000 mast sites but which will see all three operators sharing up to 16,000 sites.

The article quoted "sources close to the situation", and no-one from T-Mobile, Orange or the Commission have provided on-the-record comment.

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