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Assessing the impact of mobile consolidation on innovation and quality

GSMA Intelligence is publishing new, original research that provides evidence of the positive impact of mobile consolidation on innovation and network quality by examining direct measures of consumer benefit.

The analysis shows that the 2012 merger in Austria accelerated Hutchison’s 4G population coverage by 20?–30% and delivered 4G download and upload speeds that are 7 Mbps and 3 Mbps higher than would have been expected without the merger. This resulted in Hutchison outperforming European operators in similar market positions. The merger also significantly increased the quality of all mobile networks, with 4G download and upload speeds increasing by more than 13 Mbps and 4 Mbps respectively. This suggests that the merger enhanced competition in network quality, with resulting benefits seen across the entire mobile market.

The results highlight the importance of dynamic efficiencies in mobile mergers and, in particular, how these efficiencies directly benefit consumers. The findings have potential implications for all competition policy dealing with market concentration, and for policymakers considering how different market structures in mobile markets can deliver sustainable competition and investments in the latest mobile technology.

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