back to article Crikey! Three can buy O2, EU regulator says

The European Commission has approved Telefonica’s sale of O2 in Ireland to mobile network operator Three, in a deal originally proposed in June. This makes the network the second largest in the country behind Vodafone, but, as ever in these deals, the Hutchison Whampoa-owned Three - which paid €850m for the network - claims …

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Really Voda?

Considering that the merged O2/3 business will still be smaller than Voda's Irish arm, would legal action really be wise? Surely if the merged business is bad, then so is the existing Voda business.

BTW, what's the merged company going to be called? O3? Ozone?

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Re: Really Voda?

Let's not forget the then market leader Vodafone UK were overtaken by orange when it was run by Hutchison so my guess is they're running scared.

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Re: Really Voda?

I thought it was the T-mobile and Orange that merged to form EE and surpass Vodafone UK size wise? Hutchinson (under the Three UK) brand are still a separate player in the UK market along with 02 (UK)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Really Voda?

I like Ozone

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Infrastructure Investment!

Vodafone are directly criticising the EU decision particularly it's proviso's, because it favours "operators who do not invest in infrastructure over those that do." Additionally, I do not doubt that Vodafone are watching the growth of Liberty Global (who own Virgin Media and Mobile in the UK) closely...

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If Vodafone's management of their Irish network is anything like the glacial speed they operate at when attempting to repair faulty cells in the UK (and not actually visiting site to verify that it actually works, just relying on "it should work now, can you test it for us?"), then a wider presences of *anyone else* could only be a good thing.

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Anonymous Coward

“Vodafone also has significant concerns that the proposed remedies will distort healthy competition rather than preserve it, and will act as a barrier to future investment in next generation communications in Ireland.”

This is the way it works -- I have a concern that my income and status and profitability is being threatened by someone so I'm going to address it by making me look like I'm actually doing something to help everybody else.

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Unhappy

Investment and Management

The EU examination was on too narrow competition grounds.

It will be a more poorly managed network (Three outsources EVERYTHING technical with no apparent "reality tests"). There will be less coverage and lower capacity as masts are closed to maximise profit vs operating costs.

It would be better if Three sold Irish operation to Liberty (UPC). That though would SERIOUSLY upset Meteor (Eircom) and Vodafone though!

I'm not entirely sure exactly what Vodafone is worried about unless it's UPC/Liberty MVO / MVNO involvement which is actually the one aspect they can't officially complain about.

I'd have rather seen Telefonica (O2) buy out Three.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Investment and Management

"It will be a more poorly managed network (Three outsources EVERYTHING technical with no apparent "reality tests"). There will be less coverage and lower capacity as masts are closed to maximise profit vs operating costs."

How curious then that Three UK constantly trumps Vodafone UK on coverage and quality of service in rootmetrics testing - and that's before we look at the most recent OpenSignal data that points towards vodafone have 50% less geographic 3g coverage than Three. This is also evidenced by Ofcom threatening Vodafone last year with a withdrawal of their 3G license for having failed to roll out the service to 90% of the population despite an 11 year lead time.

Ironically the same "less coverage and lower capacity" argument was trotted out when Three and T-Mobile decided to rationalise the number of masts via their "MBNL" joint venture - MBNL is widely seen to be the best 3G network now.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Investment and Management

Three Ireland do indeed outsource a lot of technical work - but they send it to Three UK. As of last year, Three UK no longer have any core functions outsourced.

Coincidentally, a lot of O2 Ireland's technical work is handled by Telefonica in the UK.

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" a deal originally proposed in June"

It's 2nd June now - I'm assuming it wasn't proposed yesterday and approved today?

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It's 2nd June now - I'm assuming it wasn't proposed yesterday and approved today?

Amazing what 850,000,000€(EUR) will buy you these days... lol

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