Vodafone, 3 reassure customers on pricing plans

Planned merger between Vodafone and 3 in Australia won't affect current pricing plans for mobile phones and mobile broadband

A merger between Vodafone and 3 in Australia won't the pricing of customers' current mobile plans for at least two years, according to a statement released by the companies.

Vodafone Australia and Hutchison 3G Australia (which trades as 3) said customers who have signed up to 24-month contracts on either Vodafone or 3 will not be affected by the merger. The post-merger company is set to be trading as Vodafone Hutchison Australia (VHA) by mid-2009.

The companies have also assured potential customers that the ability to acquire devices for $0 on 24-month contracts will not be affected, applying to both mobile phone and mobile broadband services.

The statement comes on the back of an ACCC warning that the merger could lead to increased prices for mobile telephony and mobile broadband.

"We want to be clear that, following the merger, Vodafone and 3 will remain extremely competitive and continue to provide great value to customers", said Nigel Dews of 3.

"We’re happy to reassure our customers with a public commitment that if the merger proceeds as intended, no plan will be withdrawn from market for the next two years."

Dews also said that “VHA will be a stronger mobile operator that is better positioned to compete in the Australian telecommunications market", but refused to announce VHA's full roadmap of handset and mobile broadband products and prices for "competitive reasons".

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