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ntl/Telewest- OFT say merger will not breach competition law

# 30 December 2005, 21:31 by chrisw

The Office of Fair Trading have stated today that there is no need for the merger between ntl and Telewest to be referred to the Competition Commission for investigation as there is no issue of gaining an unfair competitive advantage in the market.

Further information regarding the ntl and Telewest merger has come to light today- The Office of Fair Trading have released information confirming that the test for merger reference to the Competition Commission is not met.

The OFT have stated that that although Telewest and ntl are the only two cable operators in the UK and have networks that are not overlapping there is no competition between the companies for telephone, television or broadband services. It is stated that the parts of the businesses where this is competition- namely narrowband and wholesale products have enough competitors for there to be no issue.

The OFT considered whether the new company’s ownership of Flextech would be an issue. Concerns were aired that an exclusive content agreement may be created to the detriment of other content providers, however this situation was considered previously and no action was taken. Several competitors to ntl and Telewest were not concerned about this issue.

The full article released by the OFT is available here.

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