Orange/T-Mobile merger approved by EC

The European Commission has given the green light for T-Mobile and Orange to merge, with the proviso that 3 gets access to 3000 more mast sites across the UK. The news follows a cautionary note from the Office of Fair Trading, who said the deal: "threatens significantly to affect competition in mobile telecommunications in the UK".

Still, Europe had no such qualms, approving the deal following a last-minute compromise that'll see 25% of the 1800MHz spectrum offered up to competitors to expand mobile broadband, and 3 being allowed to use another 3000 mast sites to bulk up its 3G network. The European commission was satisfied that there would still be sufficient competition in the UK market once these concessions had been made.

While there's been much debate about what to call the new company - Torange? O-Mobile? - it seems like the newly conjoined twins will be raining on that particular parade. They say that they'll continue to use both existing brand names for the time being.