MOBILE PHONE COMPANY Vodafone is to close down its pager business, and has cancelled plans to sell to rival Capita because of competition concerns.
Wow this all sounds like something from the past. It ain't though, it's is happening now. The BBC reports that Vodafone has caused shock with its decision because it looked like the Capita thing was a done deal. However, that was until the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) raised concerns that a single pager company in the UK could be a significant force.
The CMA released this statement on 10 May: "The CMA has decided, on the information currently available to it, that it is or may be the case that this merger may be expected to result in a substantial lessening of competition within a market or markets in the United Kingdom.
"This merger will be referred for a phase 2 investigation unless the parties offer acceptable undertakings to address these competition concerns. The full text of the decision will be available shortly."
It appears that we do not have to wait for the full text, because Vodafone has thrown the baby out with the bathwater and just dropped the whole thing for a range of reasons.
"We are disappointed with the decision by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) to continue its investigation into the transfer of Vodafone's paging customers to Capita's PageOne business. This seems to be a surprising decision considering that this market has been contracting for some time and no other country in Europe has more than one wide area paging network," a spokesperson told INQ in a statement.
"Due to the expense involved with a prolonged investigation, Vodafone will not pursue the transaction and has made the decision to close down this business, which is based on ageing, standalone technology no longer supported by network vendors.
"We will do our utmost to minimise the impact on the 1,000 or so customers still using the service." µ
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