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British watchdog weighs probe of Motorola's Airwave network

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(Reuters) -Britain's competition watchdog said on Thursday it was considering launching an investigation into Motorola Solutions Inc's Airwave network that is used by emergency services in the country.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said it was launching a consultation on concerns surrounding Motorola's dual role as the owner of the network and as a key supplier in the rollout of the planned new emergency services network.

"Initial review of the evidence available indicates that the supply of the Airwave network in Great Britain is not working well, resulting in significant detriment to customers and the taxpayer," the CMA said in a statement.

A spokesperson for Motorola said the company was aware of the latest developments.

"Motorola Solutions remains committed to working with the Home Office to deliver mission-critical communications. This includes the Airwave network that U.K. emergency services rely upon every day, and the safe transition to next-generation technologies," the spokesperson said.

The regulator also identified two potential solutions should an investigation confirm its concerns, including requiring the U.S.-based company to sell the network.

Motorola bought Airwave for 817.5 million pounds ($1.13 billion) in 2015.

Last year, Britain's telecom regulator Ofcom provisionally found that Motorola and Sepura broke competition law during a procurement exercise run by UK police services partner Police ICT Company in 2018.

($1 = 0.7260 pounds)

(Reporting by Yadarisa Shabong and Pushkala Aripaka in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)

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