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orange-Tmobile_logoWe’d missed the news that Orange and T-Mobile were planning a merger in the first place, but it looks like it doesn’t matter as the regulatory authorities are likely to put the kibosh on it.

Apparently, the government is working with five of the UK’s main wireless network providers to ensure that no-one has too large a chunk of the spectrum owned, thereby allowing fair competition to continue.

Currently, O2 is the dominant force in the British mobile phone market with 27 per cent in its pocket. Vodafone and Orange have 25 per cent and 22 per cent respectively. A merger between Orange and T-Mobile will cause the pair to own 37 per cent of the market, which the government says is too much for fair competition.

According to a report in the Guardian, the Office of Fair Trading will be given the power to decide how much of the spectrum each company is allowed.