You may or may not have read the recent news that the mobile company Three is seeking to buy O2.
I'm really concerned that consolidation in the mobile market (which already started with the merger of Orange and T-Mobile into EE) could see prices rise and customer service worsen.
There is further cause for concern in that Vodafone is such a huge and important employer in this area and if this deal went through they would be left as the smallest of the big three operators in the UK thus potentially putting local jobs at risk.
If elected in May I would be using my power and influence as an MP to urge UK and EU-level competition regulators to investigate this deal and I'd make representations at any subsequent inquiries to state the case against further consolidation of our vibrant mobile market which has delivered some of the lowest prices in Europe.
However, business moves fast and this deal could be on the table before May. So today I'm writing to Richard Benyon to ask him to take this action immediately should any deal be brought forward:
Dear Mr Benyon
There has been considerable speculation over the past 2-3 weeks regarding a buy-out of mobile phone company O2 by its rival Three.
This comes hot on the heels of news that BT plans to buy EE (itself a merger between Orange and T-Mobile).
I'm concerned that further consolidation of our mobile phone market and the reduction in choice for consumers will lead to higher prices in the medium-to-long term and may also lessen the focus on delivering quality customer service.
Believe it or not but British consumers are currently able to access some of the lowest mobile contract prices in Europe thanks to our more competitive market.
Further cause for concern is that Vodafone, obviously such a huge and vital local employer, would be negatively affected becoming the smallest of the remaining big networks.
So I am writing to you today to ask you to pledge that you will do all you can to ensure that the EU and UK competition regulators investigate any potential merger between O2 and Three and make representations to those investigations regarding the negative effects of reducing consumer choice.
Parliamentary Candidate for Newbury
Newbury Constituency Labour Party