The Competition Authority has approved plans by BT Ireland to transfer its residential and small business customers to Vodafone.
Last month, the two companies unveiled plans that will result in BT exiting the consumer market here, and hiving off its 84,000 phone and broadband customers to Vodafone. A further 3,000 small business customers at BT will be moved. BT Ireland’s primary customer base is the corporate sector.
The initial seven-year deal will increase Vodafone’s total fixed-line customer base in Ireland to more than 170,000 and make it the second-biggest player in the country’s fixed-line market after Eircom. Vodafone will also have 15pc of the country’s fixed-line broadband internet customer base.
The Competition Authority said it had formed the view that the proposed acquisition did not raise competition concerns.
The BT-Vodafone plan also includes a multi-million euro commitment from BT to upgrade a further 58 telephone exchanges around the country so it can ensure that more of the population can access its high-speed internet services.
BT will sell the wholesale broadband capacity to Vodafone, which will in turn market it to fixed-line customers.
The deal will also have an impact on Eircom’s revenues.
– John Mulligan