The Chairman of Three UK has launched an astonishing attack on the CEO of Ofcom as he unveiled a series of measures designed to help its acquisition of O2 get regulatory clearance.

In a strongly worded statement, Canning Fok, Co-Managing Director of CK Hutchison Holdings, the parent company that owns Three, said Sharon While had not consulted him about the deal.

He also called Vodafone a "top of the heap predator" and suggested UK wholesalers played “tricks” on their customers.

The European Commission is currently conducting an indepth review of £10 billion merger between Three and O2, and is expected to make a decision next month.

Fok said the newly combined business would not raise the price of a voice minute, a text or a megabyte in the five years following the merger.

Further, he said £5 billion would be invested over the next five years, which he claimed was “at least” 20 percent more than would have been invested by the two companies on their own.

Finally, Fok promised to sell parts of its network to “meaningful competitors” in what he termed a “fractional shared ownership” model.

In a thinly veiled dig at BT, he claimed this would “eliminate the tricks some wholesalers use to disadvantage their wholesale customers”.

Vodafone also came in for criticism, with Fok calling them an “old top-of-the-heap predator”.

But he reserved his harshest words for Sharon White, the Ofcom CEO, who raised her concerns about the deal in a letter to the Financial Times earlier this week.

Fok said: “We might be forgiven for wondering why Sharon White, the new CEO of Britain's telecom regulator Ofcom, felt the pressing need to go public with her conclusions about the effects of CK Hutchison’s proposed acquisition of O2 without having asked for or heard our views in response to her concerns.”

Ofcom declined to comment on whether any meetings or discussions had taken place.

According to Fok, the merger of Three and O2 was “the only way” to guarantee that customers will still be getting more and paying less for mobile services.

CCS Insight Analyst Kester Mann said the proposed measures were unlikely to appease the Europan Commission’s competition chief Margrethe Vestager.

“More likely, CK Hutchison will need to facilitate the entrance of a new player to retain the status quo of four national network providers,” Mann said.

“As such, its pledge around selling slices of network capacity will be the most heavily scrutinised.

“[CKH] will likely be prepared to go to significant lengths to make the deal happen as backtracking would leave Three in a vulnerable position as a sub-scale mobile operator in a market rapidly transitioning to multiplay.”

 

More News

Iliad enters content game in France, finally launches Italian mobile business Iliad enters content game in France, finally launches Italian mobile business Iliad has acquired football rights in France and launched its opco in Italy as it looks to reboot after a disappointing set of financial results. More detail
Three UK appoints new CCO, CFO Three UK appoints new CCO, CFO The departure of Three UK's Chief Commercial Officer after just 18 months in the job has triggered a shake-up of the mobile operator's top team. More detail
TalkTalk to sell enterprise customer base to Daisy as it registers full-year loss TalkTalk to sell enterprise customer base to Daisy as it registers full-year loss TalkTalk has agreed to sell 80,000 business customers to rival Daisy Group in a £175 million deal. More detail
A1 Telekom Austria Group rebrand reaches Bulgaria A1 Telekom Austria Group rebrand reaches Bulgaria Bulgaria is the third A1 Telekom Austria Group opco to get rebranded as the telco looks to market itself as a provider of "advanced" IT, IoT, cloud and content services. More detail
Orange Business Services puts IoT to use on saving ships’ fuel costs Orange Business Services puts IoT to use on saving ships’ fuel costs Orange Business Services has expanded its work with Dobroflot by developing a customised IoT solution for the Russian fishing company. More detail
    

 

European Communications is now
Mobile Europe and European Communications

  

From June 2018, European Communications magazine 
has merged with its sister title Mobile Europe, into 
Mobile Europe and European Communications.

No more new content is being published on this site - 

for the latest news and features, please go to:
www.mobileeurope.co.uk 

 

@eurocomms