BT's last hurdle for buying EE in a staggering £12.5 billion deal has now been overcome. The Competition and Markets Authority has given clearance to the buyout, allowing it to go ahead.
It said that the deal was unlikely to harm competition as BT was smaller in mobile, while EE is just a minor player in broadband.
"The evidence does not show that this merger is likely to cause significant harm to competition or the interests of consumers," said John Wotton of the CMA.
The move means BT will now have a service that can offer the big four: TV, broadband, mobile and landline phone.
EE is being sold by current owners Orange and Deutsche Telekom. Deutsche Telekom will hold 12 per cent of the new combined business and will have a seat on the board. Orange will take a 4 per cent share and £3.4 billion in cash.
BT previously claimed that it partly raised the money for the purchase by a placing of new shares to a value of £1 billion. BT also said that within a year the deal will save the company a hefty £360 million a year in operating costs and capital investment. It should be able to generate an extra £1.6 billion a year in sales.
The deal could be money well spent for BT who now gets the UK's market leader for 4G. EE offers the fastest mobile bandwidth with the widest coverage which probably explains the 7.7 million subscribers.
The deal should be finalised by March. It is not known yet whether the EE name will remain as a sub-brand or if it will simply be renamed BT Mobile.
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