BRUSSELS—The European Commission is set to torpedo
European Union commissioners are scheduled to approve the decision by the bloc’s antitrust watchdog on Wednesday, the people said, after the companies failed to assuage regulator’s concerns the deal would lead to higher prices and less choice for U.K. consumers.
The item is on the agenda for the weekly meeting of the 28 EU commissioners, where the decision is usually a formality.
The commission and the companies declined to comment.
The purchase of Telefónica SA’s O2 by Hong Kong-based CK Hutchison would have combined the U.K.’s second-largest mobile operator with Three U.K., the fourth-largest operator and CK Hutchison’s existing British carrier. The acquisition, announced in 2015, would have more than tripled Three’s U.K. subscribers to 34 million and created the country’s biggest mobile operator.
Margrethe Vestager, the EU’s antitrust chief, has taken