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Schmidt Discusses UK Cabinet Office’s Final Order for Mobile Operators’ Merger

May 16, 2024

Partner John Schmidt, who leads the firm’s UK Competition team in London, was quoted in the Global Competition Review article, “Vodafone/Three wins conditional UK national security approval.” The article discusses the UK Cabinet Office’s recent final order which imposed conditions on the merger between mobile network operators Vodafone UK and Three UK. The order requires the two operators to establish a national security committee to oversee sensitive work and provide regular updates to the government.

Schmidt told GCR that the commitment to install a national security committee has “rightly or wrongly become a regular feature in national security cases,” and noted the speed of the foreign investment review process compared to the UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA)’s ongoing Phase II investigation into the merger. “The NSIA clearance, albeit conditional, was granted just over one month into the CMA’s Phase II which is not to conclude until at least mid-September of this year,” Schmidt said.

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