A merger between broadband company Virgin Media and mobile network O2 has been given the go-ahead by regulators in the UK.

The £31bn merger had been undergoing a thorough examination by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA).

The CMA concluded that fears that consumers would experience price hikes due to the merger were unfounded as it gave the green light.

Martin Coleman of the CMA said that the watchdog was reassured that there would still be strong competition in the mobile market, making it unlikely that the merger would mean either higher prices or poorer services.

The CMA found that leased lines made up a comparatively small proportion of mobile companies’ overall costs and thought it unlikely that Virgin would raise leased line costs in a way that would lead to higher bills for customers.

The deal values Virgin Media at £18.7bn and O2 at £12.7bn, which will give the combined entity a value of £31.4bn.

The deal was first announced a year ago and was provisionally cleared last month.

It is expected to go through by 1st June.

The merger could have some tangible benefits for consumers.

Virgin Media had already made a deal with Vodafone to use its 5G network so that its customers don’t miss out, and O2 customers will now also have access to it.

The merger could also see Virgin Media offering more SIM-only deals, while the combined group could offer deals on combined services.