Are British callers really getting value for money from their mobile phone networks? Not according to the European Parliament which recently voted to cap the charges levied on users travelling abroad, or the EU's Telecoms Commissioner who criticised the former culture minister Margaret Hodge as "a spokesman for the mobile phone industry" and warned that British people would be "very upset if they found out what was happening behind closed doors".
It is in this context that the mobile operators T-Mobile and Vodaphone have announced that they might merge. The new company would control 40 per cent of the UK market – weakening the competitive forces that help to keep prices down at present.
When a formal proposal emerges, the communications regulator Ofcom must not be afraid to bare its teeth. A deal that would concentrate too much power in the hands of a single operator would be a very bad call indeed.