In October, Ofcom revealed more information about its plans to auction the 2.3GHz and 3.4GHz radio spectrum it had received from the Ministry of Defence. It planned to start the auction process in December 2015.
However, it notes that the Competition and Markets Authority is due to publish its decision about BT’s anticipated acquisition of EE in January 2016, while the European Commission is expected to make a decision on the proposed merger of Telefónica UK (O2) and Hutchison 3G UK (Three) by mid-May 2016.
As a result of this – and threatened legal action from O2 and Three if the auction starts before the EC’s merger investigation is concluded – Ofcom says it’s decided to delay the start of the auction process. This will now not begin until the European Commission has made its decision about whether the Telefónica UK and Hutchison 3G UK merger would harm competition.