Voda, Hutch plans to stay post-merger

Mobile telcos Vodafone and Hutchison (3 Mobile) today pledged to maintain their voice and data plans for two years to reassure customers their proposed merger wouldn't negatively impact the value they were delivering.

Mobile telcos Vodafone and Hutchison (3 Mobile) today pledged to maintain their voice and data plans for two years to reassure customers their proposed merger wouldn't negatively impact the value they were delivering.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is slated to deliver on 29 May the results of an inquiry into the merger, which could lead to the regulator to attempt to block it on the grounds it could lead to increased retail prices.

"We're happy to reassure our customers with a public commitment that if the merger proceeds as intended, no plan will be withdrawn from market for the next two years," said Hutchison chief executive and proposed future CEO of the merged entity VHA Nigel Dews in a statement today.

The merged carrier would also introduce new offers and services following the merger.

Dews claimed customers of both carriers had "everything to gain" from the proposed merger.

"VHA will be a stronger mobile operator that is better positioned to compete in the Australian telecommunications market.

"For competitive reasons we will not telegraph our full roadmap of handset and mobile broadband products and prices, but VHA will certainly introduce new offers into the market to acquire new customers," he said.

A Vodafone spokesperson said the impetus for today's statement had come from the point of view of reassuring customers about the merged group's future. They said both carriers had received some feedback via their channel structures that some customers were concerned that the future was unclear.