In response to Ofcom's suggestion that the O2 acquisition by CK Hutchinson Holdings, owner of Three, would be bad for competition in the UK, the network's chairman has written an open letter which promises a price freeze if the deal goes ahead.
Printed in the Financial Times, the letter by Channing Fok states that Three+O2 customers would "get more and pay less".
In it he promises that Three+O2 would "not raise the price for consumers of a voice minute, a text or megabyte in the five years following the merger". He also promises that the combined company will invest £5 billion in its UK businesses over the next five years.
He claims that with the latter, the quality of services would be dramatically improved faster and more effectively than if the two companies remain separate.
Fok also points out that Three is "currently the smallest operator on the market" and that the only way to stand up to the "new Leviathan BT" - which has completed its acquisition of EE without complaint - is to allow it to combine with O2.
If the deal was to be approved, it would leave the market with three large mobile phone networks: Three+O2, BT (which is believed to be ditching the EE branding), and Vodafone.
"Over the coming weeks the promises I have laid out will be an important part of the case Three will put to Europe’s competition authorities, who have had the wisdom not to rush to judgment until, as the law requires, they have heard our response to their concerns," wrote Fok in the letter.
"We believe they will make the right choice for Britain, for British consumers, and for Europe."
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