Telecommunications companies Vodafone and Three have denied claims the proposed merger between the two businesses will lead to price hikes for consumers.
The companies are currently two of the four major mobile operators in the UK, but they could soon be the biggest with around 27 million customers.
Some fear that the consolidation might be bad for the industry.
The Unite Union says customers could pay an extra £300 a year if the merger goes ahead. The trade union believes a healthy telecoms sector needs numerous mobile network operators.
A spokesperson for the Union noted: “But if we have this merger take place, we’re going to see price rises, we’re going to see profits go up.”
However, Vodafone and Three are adamant that there won’t be “merger-related price rises”.
Three’s General Counsel, Stephen Lerner, says if it receives approval, it will instead drive investment in key services with a £6bn spend planned through to 2028.
Vodafone UK’s Andrea Dona also stated that customers’ bills will fall, pointing to the combined firm’s plans to deliver fibre broadband via 5G networks to more homes and businesses nationwide, enabling 82% of UK households to access superfast broadband speeds.
Dona also said that providing more fibre options for consumers will lead to a “£15 reduction” in monthly bills.
The Unite Union argues the opposite, stating that increased profit-taking will be a significant downside if the deal does get approval.
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is currently reviewing the potential impact of the merger between the two companies.