Competition watchdog approves BT's £12.5bn merger with mobile operator EE

The move paves the way BT to take over the country's largest mobile telecoms business Credit: PA

The UK's competition watchdog has given the all clear to BT's £12.5 billion buy-out of mobile giant EE.

The move by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) follows a 10 month investigation and paves the way for the merger of the UK's largest fixed line telecoms company with the country's largest mobile telecoms business.

The merger was provisionally given the go-ahead in October last year and was announced back in February.

Rivals claim the move will allow BT to "remonopolise" the UK telecoms sector.

But John Wotton, who chaired the CMA's inquiry, said:

Following Friday's approval, BT will commence the formal process of completing the deal.

BT chief executive Gavin Patterson described the acquisition as "great news".

"I have no doubt that consumers, businesses and communities will benefit as we combine the power of fibre broadband with the convenience of leading edge mobile services. I look forward to welcoming EE into the BT family," he said.

The deal is expected to be completed before the end of March.