Three Chairman promises price freeze ahead of O2 merger

Three owner Hutchinson Whampoa has provided a series of pledges to answer the worries about its take-over of Telefonica's UK network O2.

The most pressing issue of which is the price freeze in its services, which Chairman Canning Fok confirmed that will be put in place for five years after the merger.

Three will also be seen to invest £5 billion in UK businesses over five years, which Fok says is 20 per cent more than what the two companies would separately invest due to added efficiencies brought by the merger.

The combined business is also promised to offer fractional shared ownership interests in its network capacity in order to “eliminate the tricks some wholesalers use to disadvantage their wholesale customers.”

In the same week, UK regulator Ofcom CEO Sharon White argued that the deal would damage competition in the UK.

The European Commission, which will decide on the merger, is said to be seeing signs that it will take a harder line on the matter, after a 2013 merger in Austria that led to the amount of operators to drop from four to three.

"For those who care to take an objective look, what we've done since combining Three with Orange in Austria in 2013 provides empirical proof [that quality of service will improve],” Fok said in defense of the issue.

The Commission is provisionally set to release its Statement of Objections to the deal on 22 April 2016.